28th July, 2011
Britain gave a major boost to the rebels by inviting them to take over the Libyan Embassy in London, which the Ghaddafi regime slammed, while Washington said it was examining a request by the rebels to recognise the insurgents.
In London British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday his country has expelled all remaining staff at the Libyan embassy and recognised the NTC as Libyaâ€™s sole legitimate government, inviting it take over the embassy in London.
â€œThe Prime Minister and I have decided that the United Kingdom recognises and will deal with the National Transitional Council as the sole governmental authority in Libya,â€ Hague said.
And in Washington State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the United States was also reviewing a request by Libyaâ€™s rebels to open an embassy in the US capital.â€They did send an official request regarding the reopening of their embassy and weâ€™re reviewing that request. And weâ€™ll work through these issues,â€ he said.Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaaim slammed Britainâ€™s decision as â€œirresponsible and illegalâ€ under British and international law, while the NTC chairman hailed the British decision.
â€We consider this irresponsible, illegal and in violation of British and international laws,â€ he said, adding that Ghaddafi â€™s regime â€œwill take necessary actions,â€ in British and international courts.
For his part, the NTCâ€™s Abdel Jalil said â€œwe express tremendous appreciation for this recognition.
â€œThe council expects the United Kingdom and Turkey to become the first countries to release some of Libyaâ€™s frozen assets, which he said â€œunfortunately have not been liquidated to date.
â€œIn that vein, Hague said Britain would also unlock Â£91 million ($149 million, 102 million euros) of Libyan oil assets frozen under a UN Security Council resolution so that the rebels could benefit from them.
Abdel Jalil promised that the rebels would honour all of Libyaâ€™s international agreements made prior to February 17 and that it would comply with the wishes of the international community over the fate of Ghaddafi , who is now a â€œwanted man.â€
The International Criminal Courtâ€™s chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said in a statement in the Hague that Libya and any future government of the country has the â€œobligationâ€ to arrest Ghaddafi .On June 27, ICC judges issued arrest warrants for the embattled Libyan leader, his son Seif al-Islam, and Libyan spy master Abdullah al-Senussi for crimes against humanity allegedly committed since the uprising started against Ghaddafiâ€™s in mid-February.
A defiant Ghaddafi meanwhile said he was ready to â€œpay with our livesâ€ to defeat the rebels and the NATO alliance, which he accused of helping him make progress on the ground, namely in the Nafusa western mountains.
Loyalists troops and rebels have fought their way into a stalemate five months after
But Ghaddafi said he would defeat the rebels and NATO.â€We are not afraid. We will defeat them. We will pay the price with out lives, our women and our children. We are ready to sacrifice (ourselves,)â€ he said in an audio message to his loyalists in Zaltan, near the border with Tunisia.Ghaddafi also called on his partisans to march on the Nafusa mountains and said the rebels, whom he called â€œtraitorsâ€ must choose between â€œdeath and surrenderâ€.