Turkey pledges $200 million for Libyan rebels

July 3, 2011 23:47


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BENGHAZI - Turkey pledged $200 million in aid for Libya's rebel Transitional National Council and said it was time for leader Muammar Gaddafi to leave Libya.

Muslim Turkey, a rising power in the Middle East, had close economic ties with Gaddafi's Libya but has distanced itself from the Libyan leader since a rebellion broke out against his rule.

In a visit to the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi, Turkey's top diplomat offered new economic aid to the rebels and in Ankara's clearest political support to the council called it "a legitimate representative of the Libyan people".

"Public demand for reforms should be answered, Gaddafi should go and Libya shouldn't be divided," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.

The aid is in addition to a $100 million fund for Libyan rebels Turkey announced in June.

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