Rebels legitimate representatives of Libyan people: Germany

June 13th, 2011 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 13 (IANS) Germany has recognised Libya’s rebels as “the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people”, BBC reported.

“We want a free Libya, in peace and democracy without (Muammar) Gaddafi,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was quoted as saying in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

About a dozen countries have recognised the rebel National Transitional Council. The council emerged from the forces that began a revolt against Gaddafi’s rule.

Even after months of conflict - that began in February - Gaddafi remains in control of the capital Tripoli while the rebels hold Benghazi.

Speaking alongside rebel foreign minister Ali Issawi, Westerwelle said: “We share the same goal - Libya without Gaddafi. The national council is the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.”

Libyan nationals listening burst into applause after he made the statement.

Council vice chairman Abdel Hafez Ghoga welcomed the German statement as a “very big step”.

Germany earlier refused to back a UN Security Council resolution authorising NATO action to protect Libyan civilians.

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