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Wednesday, 15 June 2011 14:30

Libyan Rebels Request $3 billion Assistance

By Buziness Africa Correspondent

ContactGroupСAIRO, Egypt, June 15, 2011 (Buziness Africa) - Libya's interim Transitional National Council (TNC) will need $3 billion for the next four months, the country's ex-Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalgam stated at the third session of the Libya Contact Group in Abu-Dhabi.

The Contact Group was formed in March and had its first meeting in London to draw up a common approach towards Libya, where Western forces have become embroiled in a military campaign against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Russia received an invitation to join the 22-nation Contact Group on Libya, which includes NATO members, Arab states and international groups.

 

Along with all members of an international coalition involved in the operation, representatives of the United Nations, the Arab League and the African Union attended the conference. The group may provide Libya with loans using Gaddafi's frozen assets as collateral. Shalgam believes that the Libyan leader has $7 billion in Italian banks alone.

 

The Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini says that Italy intends to transfer up to $400 million to the TNC, using frozen Libyan assets as collateral, while taking part in the Contact Group meeting in Abu Dhabi.

 

France offered $420 million and Kuwait promised $180 million while other Western and Arab powers involved in the Libya campaign promised more than $1 billion in aid to the rebels at a meeting of the Contact Group in Abu Dhabi.

 

The meeting, in particular, was seeking for legal ways to transfer money from Gaddafi's accounts in diverse banks in various parts of the world (all these accounts are frozen now) to the Libyan rebels.

 

In May, the Contact Group announced the establishment of a fund to help the rebels. The fund will "permit funds to be channeled effectively and transparently to the Transitional National Council," Frattini said, while addressing the meeting in March.

 

The TNC now said it needed $3 billion in the coming months towards medical aid, food supplies, and utilities as the three-month-old conflict between rebels and forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi ground into a stalemate.

 

Frattini also said the frozen assets of the Gaddafi regime, estimated at more than $32 billion, could be made accessible to the rebels. "This money belongs to the Libyan people," he said.

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has urged an immediate cease-fire in Libya, describing political dialogue with Gaddafi as "the only way to protect civilians," but analysts say this is not a real alternative to the NATO-led military operation.

 

"It is very hard to imagine both Gaddafi and the rebels agreeing to a cease-fire, because neither of the sides has reached its goals," says Oksana Antonenko of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

 

"Besides, Gaddafi's legitimacy as a participant in such talks is also a question: France and Britain have openly said that they don't recognize him as a partner for negotiations."

 

Currently, the international community is split into three camps on the Libya issue. The first group supports the no-fly zone, but is unwilling to take the intervention any further, while the second proposes supplying arms to the rebels to hasten the fall of Gaddafi’s regime.

 

At the moment the NATO-led coalition is holding the middle line, which is to continue attacking Gaddafi forces in order to not let him restore his defense potential and regain the rebel-held territories, while refraining from directly supporting the rebels.

 

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the group, which includes NATO members, Arab states and international organizations, would look at ways to increase pressure on Gaddafi to step down from power. The US together with Britain and France are coordinating what they term "The Final Games of Gaddafi" that will end his 42-year-old authoritarian era.

 

"We will seek an end to the violence against civilians and the beginning of a democratic transition to a better future," Clinton said at a news conference ahead of the Abu Dhabi meeting.

 

The Russian Presidential Envoy on African Affairs and Head of Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Mikhail Margelov, reiterated the stance during a news conference on June 10, according to which Gaddafi "has lost a moral right and legitimacy to be Libyan leader after he began bombing his own people." According to Margelov, after his trip to the Libyan capital, Moscow “will be ready to outline "a road map" of the Libyan settlement.

 

He said he was waiting for NATO to clear the transportation corridor to Tripoli, where he will hold talks with Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, Foreign Affairs Minister Abdelati al-Obeidi and other members of the Cabinet.

 

In Russia's strongest warning yet to the Gaddafi regime, Margelov said the 69-year-old "has very little time" left before a formal indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on war crimes charges.

 

Commenting on a possibility to join mediatory efforts of Moscow and Beijing, Margelov said he saw "no reasons that would prevent coordinating Russian efforts with the activity of the Chinese representatives" and assertively referred to a positive experience of close joint work of Russian, U.S. and Chinese emissaries within the framework of the Sudanese settlement.

 

Mustafa_Abdel-Jalil_libyaAn interim government was formed by the council on March 23, 2011. It has so far been officially recognized as the sole legitimate government of Libya by France, Qatar, Maldives, Italy, Spain, Kuwait, The Gambia, Jordan, and the United Kingdom. Australia has recognized it as a legitamte interlocutor, but affirmed it shared the same stance as Qatar and France.

 

Russia, Malta, and the United States of America have recognized it only as a legitimate political entity, but demanded Gaddafi to leave Libya. Senegal and Turkey have recognized it as a co-legitimate representative of Libya along with Gaddafi's regime. Several other countries have established unofficial diplomatic ties with the National Transitional Council.

 

Meanwhile, NATO continues its legitimate mission in Libya, after formally endorsing an extension of its campaign for a further three months from June 27. The allies have intensified their efforts and are determined to continue the operation to protect the Libyan people for as long as necessary. The operation aims to bring about a speedy resolution to the crisis, put an end to the violence, and allow the Libyan people to freely determine their own future. (END)

 

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Некоторых из них она знает по виду.

В это время года камин, конечно, не топили.

 
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