U.K. expels Libyan diplomats, eyes envoys from rebel council
London, United Kingdom
July 27, 2011 02:36 pm EDT
Unrest, Conflicts And War, Armed Conflict, Politics, Diplomacy, International Relations
The United Kingdom expelled Libya’s remaining diplomats on Wednesday as it officially recognized the North African country’s rebel council as the new government.
Eight Libyan diplomats, including charge d’affaires Khaled Benshaban, were told to leave their embassy in Knightsbridge within three days. Foreign Secretary William Hague said he wants the National Transition Council to replace embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s envoys with their own diplomats.
Hague said the move allows the unfreezing of Libyan assets in the U.K.
Anti-Gaddafi protesters were outside the embassy when the expulsion was announced.
The NTC has already been recognized by the U.S. and France as the legitimate government of Libya, although rebels are still fighting Gaddafi’s forces for control of the country. The rebellion started in March to end Gaddafi’s 42-year rule. The leader remains at his stronghold in the capital Tripoli.
The U.K. has closed its embassy in Tripoli but established a diplomatic mission in Benghazi, which is controlled by the rebels and the base of the NTC.
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