Hague says UK to recognize Libyan opposition

British Foreign Secretary says Muammar Gaddafi should leave; Libyan diplomats to be expelled, new envoy invited to take over.

William Hague (R) 311 (photo credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)
William Hague (R) 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)
LONDON - Britain is to recognize the rebel National Transitional Council as Libya's sole legitimate government, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Wednesday.
"This decision reflects the National Transitional Council's increasing legitimacy, competence and success in reaching out to Libyans across the country," he told reporters.
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Hague said Libyan diplomats currently in Britain would all be expelled.
"We are inviting the National Transitional Council to appoint a new Libyan diplomatic envoy to take over the Libyan embassy in London," Hague added.
Asked about whether Muammar Gaddafi should be allowed to remain in Libya, Hague said: "The best solution is for him to leave but this is up to the Libyan people to decide."
He said that in line with a UN Security Council resolution, Britain continues to explore how to unfreeze assets to support the rebels.
"At the request of the Arabian Gulf Oil Company, a Libyan oil company, the United Kingdom is ready to make available 91 million pounds of the company's assets in the United Kingdom," Hague added.