US Recognizes Libyan Rebels as Country's Legitimate Government

Hillary Clinton made the announcement at a meeting of 30 nations.

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Libyan rebels (guardian.co.uk)

The United States is granting Libyan rebel leaders full diplomatic recognition as the governing authority of Libya, after five months of fighting to oust longtime ruler Muammar Qaddafi, the Washington Post reports. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the announcement, which will clear the way for the rebels to access some of Libya's frozen U.S. assets, at a meeting of 30 Western and Arab nations.

From the Washington Post:

Kuwait and Qatar have already given roughly $100 million to the rebels, and other countries have pledged varying degrees of funding, but rebel leaders say they need more money soon if they are to shoulder all the responsibilities of a new government in a country torn by five months of fighting.

For weeks, U.S. officials have stopped short of full diplomatic recognition even as they inched up support for the Libyan rebels' cause. The main concern was over how capably and inclusively the rebel leaders would govern, said a senior U.S. state department official who was not authorized to speak by name.

The United States decided to change its position after a presentation to the international contact group by Mahmoud Jibril, the foreign representative of the transitional council, who walked through the rebels' post-Gaddafi plans for governing Libya.

Source: the Washington Post.

Clinton also had stern words for Qaddafi, saying, "Qaddafi and those around him know what is required. The terms of a ceasefire are clear. Qaddafi must stop attacks or the threat of attacks, remove his troops from all of the places they have forcibly entered and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance."

Read more at the Washington Post.

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