Spain recognises Libyan rebel council – minister


Spain has recognised Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council as the country’s legitimate representative, Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said during a visit to rebel-held east Libya.

“I’m here today to confirm that the National Transitional Council is the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people,” Jimenez told reporters in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Wednesday.

The council, which oversees the affairs of eastern regions under rebel control, has lobbied hard for diplomatic recognition and for funds to maintain its months-long campaign to unseat leader Muammar Gaddafi, Reuters reports.

Foreign powers led by United States, France and Britain have helped isolate Gaddafi and cut his funding and weapon supplies, while bolstering the rebel council with offers of aid.

The council has won full recognition from France, Italy, Qatar and Jordan as the true representative of the Libyan people, while the U.S. has invited the rebels to open an office in Washington.

Jimenez pledged humanitarian assistance for the rebels, without giving details.
“What the Spanish government wants is the same thing that the Libyan people want which is democracy and freedom, and that is why the Spanish government will pledge assistance to the national council,” she said.