02/Sep/2014 - Last News Update: 21:57

Libya condemns UK for recognising rebels as sole power

Category: Politics

Published: 27th Jul 2011 22:56:09

Tripoli has condemned the UK for recognising the rebels as Libya's "sole governmental authority" after similar moves by France and the US.

Khaled Kaim, deputy foreign minister in Muammar Gaddafi's government, told reporters the decision was unprecedented and irresponsible.

Libya would seek to reverse the decision through the courts, he said.

Britain has ordered the expulsion of all eight remaining Gaddafi diplomats in the UK.

The rebel leadership, the National Transitional Council (NTC), has put forward Mahmud Al-Naku, a writer and journalist, as the new Libyan ambassador in London.

He told the BBC he has been in exile for 33 years because of his opposition to the Gaddafi regime.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the NTC had shown its commitment to a "more open and democratic Libya... in stark contrast to Gaddafi whose brutality against the Libyan people [had] stripped him of all legitimacy".

The green flag of the Gaddafi government was still flying outside the Libyan embassy in Knightsbridge on Wednesday afternoon as protesters carrying the red, green and black flag of the rebels gathered outside.

Folllowing the US decision to recognise the NTC two weeks ago, the BBC has been told the US has now received an "official request" from the rebels to reopen the Libyan embassy in Washington.

US officials say they are "reviewing" the request.

Libyan rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces are still locked in battle, five months after an uprising began against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule, as Nato continues to enforce a UN-backed no-fly zone over the country.

It's difficult to tell how damaging the expulsion of the Libyan diplomats in London will be to the authorities here in Tripoli.

It is in the nature of the government here not to admit to feeling any pressure.

Officials insist that Colonel Gadaffi and his supporters will win the conflict with Nato and the rebels - no matter how long the war may last.

Mr Kaim said the British decision was "unprecedented in diplomatic history".

"It's illegal, it's irresponsible and for us it was a surprise to happen from the British government because, I mean, if other countries will [follow] Britain, then the international diplomacy will be chaos," he told reporters in Tripoli.

"I personally consider it a stain on the forehead of Britain," he said. Libya, he added, would try to reverse the decision by taking legal action in both British courts and the International Court of Justice.

The deputy foreign minister also condemned Britain and France for supporting the rebels in eastern Libya. They were, he said, "flogging a dead horse".

Col Gaddafi's charge d'affaires, Khaled Benshaban, is being given three days to leave while his colleagues' fate will be decided on a "case-by-case basis", the Foreign Office said.

Mr Hague told reporters in London that a recent meeting of the Libya contact group in Istanbul had decided to treat the NTC as the legitimate government authority in Libya - and he was outlining the UK's response.

Foreign Secretary William Hague: ''We're inviting the national transitional council to appoint a new Libyan diplomatic envoy''

The UK previously said it recognised "countries not governments" but the British foreign secretary argued it was a "unique situation" and recognising the NTC could help "legally in the unfreezing of some assets".

The British government will now be able to unfreeze £91m ($149m, 102m euros) in assets from a Libyan oil company but not other Libyan assets frozen in the UK, which total about £12bn.

Libya's rebels have been saying for weeks that they need more money from the international community to pay for salaries and food supplies.

In the rebel stronghold Benghazi, NTC chairman Mustafa Abdul-Jalil praised the British decision as an economic and political boost.

The new ambassador to London, Mahmoud al-Naku, told the BBC Col Gaddafi could not stay in Libya once he was overthrown.

"Thanks to the brave men on the ground who now surround the main cities, we hope in a few weeks [the rebels] will arrive to Tripoli," he said.

Meanwhile, outside the embassy in London, about 20 demonstrators chanted, "We want to say thank you UK".

"I was so happy I cried," one of them, 57-year-old Muftah Abdelsamad, told AFP news agency.

"We have been wanting this for six months now. It will put pressure on Gaddafi to leave the country because there is no other way for him. Soon we will have freedom and democracy in Libya."

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2011. Libya condemns UK for recognising rebels as sole power [Online] (Updated 27th Jul 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/173532/Libya-condemns-UK-for-recognising-rebels-as-sole-power [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Apple confirms accounts compromised but denies security breach

    Apple has confirmed that some celebrities' iCloud accounts were broken into, but says it has found no evidence that this was caused by a breach of its security systems.
  • Apple confirms accounts compromised but denies security breach

    Apple has confirmed that some celebrities' iCloud accounts were broken into, but says it has found no evidence that this was caused by a breach of its security systems.
  • Apple confirms accounts compromised but denies security breach

    Apple has confirmed that some celebrities' iCloud accounts were broken into, but says it has found no evidence that this was caused by a breach of its security systems.
  • Scottish independence: Referendum race 'may have got tighter'

    For the past three or four months or so, the referendum race has looked as though it was stalled.
  • No prosecution over Druids' Ardoyne Fleadh comments

    There will be no prosecutions over complaints about the performance of a folk band at the Ardoyne Fleadh last month.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com