Qatar recognizes Libyan opposition

The Libyan Transitional National Council is the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, the Foreign Ministry in Qatar announced Monday.

A source in the Qatari Foreign Ministry told the state-run Qatar News Agency that the recognition of the transitional council stems from its acceptance by the Libyan people.

Al-Jazeera adds that though Qatar is the first Arab state to recognize the Libyan opposition, Qatar’s move came with the blessing of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Ali al-Issawi, the former Libyan envoy to India, announced March 10 in Paris that France recognized “the (Libyan Transitional) National Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.”

Rebel leaders in Libya announced last week that they formed an interim government bent on maintaining the unity of the country.

Rebel forces in Libya gained ground on fighters loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi through the help of a multilateral military intervention in support of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973.

Resolution 1973, which enacted the no-fly zone, authorizes member states to “take all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians from Gadhafi’s forces. The international community is debating whether or not that means regime change, however.

U.S. President Barack Obama scheduled a speech Monday to discuss the Libyan intervention amid heated bipartisan controversy.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a joint statement with French President Nicolas Sarkozy that an international conference on Libya set for Tuesday would mark a new beginning for Libya.

“Tomorrow in London, the international community will come together to support a new beginning for Libya,” the statement read, “a new beginning in which the people of Libya are free from violence and oppression, free to choose their own future.”

UPI