Diplomatic and Military Affairs

Denmark recognizes Libya's rebel NTC

Updated: 2011-06-23 10:52


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Denmark recognizes Libya's rebel NTC
Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen looks on during a news conference in the rebel-held city of Benghazi June 22, 2011. Denmark declared the National Transitional Council as a legitimate representative for the Libyan people, Espersen said.[Photo/Agencies] 

COPENHAGEN -- Denmark formally recognized Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) as the only legitimate representation of the Libyan people, Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen said during a visit to Benghazi on Wednesday.

Espersen's comments came following several meetings with the NTC leadership.

"I think the time has come. Our fear that competing groups will try to take ove

r the country have been shown to be unfounded," she told Danish daily Politiken, referring to Denmark's recognition of the NTC.

Denmark has previously recognized the NTC as only one of Libya's authorities, after two months of dialogue with the rebels through a diplomat stationed in Benghazi, a city in rebel-held Eastern Libya.

The recognition brings Denmark's position in line with fellow NATO members France, Spain, Britain and Germany.

"Everyone supports the NTC to lead Libya's transition to a free country. These are people we can trust once (Libyan leader Colonel Muammar) Gaddafi is gone," Espersen said.

Espersen was visiting the rebel stronghold of Benghazi with senior members of Denmark's political parties, including those in government and in opposition.

She discussed the future of Libya after Gaddafi with NTC chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil.

"We are sending a very clear signal that Gaddafi's days in Libya are numbered," Espersen said in comments, cited by Danish broadcaster TV2.

"He has lost all legitimacy, and the only legitimate representative for the people in this transitional phase, is the NTC," she added.

The NTC was formed in late February and announced itself as the "sole representative of all of Libya"on March 5.

Denmark supports the UN-mandated and now NATO-led joint intervention to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. That decision was unanimously backed by parties in Danish parliament in March.


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