France first to recognise Libyan rebels as "legitimate representatives of the people"
Friday, March 11, 2011
France became the first country to formally recognize a newly formed Libyan opposition council as the "legitimate representative of the Libyan people." The office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday it will send to the rebel stronghold in Benghazi, and in return the Libyan opposition council will set up an in Paris.
The decision was made after President Sarkozy met with two representatives of the opposition group, the Paris. Mustafa Gheriani, a representative for the Libyan opposition, said he expected other EU members to follow Sarkozy's lead. Other EU members expressed uneasiness, and declined to meet with the two representatives., in
Although the EU has approved tighter sanctions in response to Muammar Gaddafi's , EU members held back from endorsing a specific opposition group. Dutch Foreign Minister , whose government still maintains an embassy in Tripoli, cautioned, "There is not yet enough clarity about these opposition groups in and around Benghazi". , spokesman for the EU foreign affairs chief, stated: "We cannot unilaterally rush into recognising groups." Other members expressed the need for the EU to speak in a unified voice.
Contact between EU officials and opposition leaders is occurring. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he had spoken by telephone with , special envoy of the Libyan Transitional National Council, before he left for NATO talks in on the Libyan situation. The talks planned to include a .
- "Libya: France recognises rebels as government" — , March 10, 2011
- David Gauthier-Villars, Adam Entous, Charles Levinson. "France, U.S. Reach Out to Rebels" — , March 11, 2011
- Sapa-dpa. "France recognizes embattled Libyan rebels" — , March 10, 2011
- Don Melvin and Raf Casert (Associated Press). "France recognizes Libya rebels, to surprise of EU" — , March 10, 2011