LONDON - Britain on Wednesday recognized the Libyan rebel movement as the country's legitimate government and swiftly unblocked 91 million pounds in frozen assets.
It also invited the opposition to replace diplomats of Muammar Gaddafi's government in London, who have been expelled.
The move was announced after a United Nations peace envoy left Libya having spoken to both sides but apparently failing to make a breakthrough in ending the five-month uprising against Gaddafi's 41-year rule.
The United States and some 25 other nations have also recognized the Benghazi-based opposition, potentially freeing up billions of dollars in frozen funds. Russia, however, has criticized such moves, accusing nations of pursuing a "policy of isolation" and taking sides in a civil war.