Libya contact group urges Gaddafi to step down

2011-07-15 14:54

Istanbul – The Libya contact group today recognised the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) as the country’s “legitimate governmental authority,” according to a statement seen by AFP.

The group of major Western and regional powers also urged “all relevant parties” to make efforts “for the formation of an interim government to ensure a smooth and peaceful transition of power”, said the statement, to be formally issued at the end of a meeting in Istanbul later today.

It urged embattled strongman Muammar Gaddafi, hanging on in Tripoli despite almost four months of Nato-led bombings, to step down.

“Gaddafi must leave power according to defined steps to be publicly announced,” said the statement, distributed by one delegation at the talks.

A number of countries have already unilaterally recognised the NTC, based in the rebel stronghold of Binghazi, as Libya’s legitimate representative.

The contact group’s recognition “means that we can now unfreeze certain Libyan state assets because it is the NTC that will henceforth exercise this responsibility”, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told reporters.

His Italian counterpart, Franco Frattini, said earlier that the contact group was also set to designate the UN special envoy for Libya, Abdel Ilah al-Khatib, as “the sole interlocuter” between the Gaddafi regime and the rebels based in Benghazi.

“Mr Al-Khatib is entitled to present a political package including the ceasefire, and to negotiate with Tripoli and Benghazi to form a government of national unity,” he said.

The contact group includes the countries participating in the Nato-led campaign targeting Gaddafi’s regime, as well as other regional players.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.