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NATO Contact Group on Libya Meets to Decide on Funding for Rebels

The NATO Contact group on Libya is meeting on 10th June in Abu Dhabi to discuss the current strikes against Colonel Gaddafi and the use of frozen government assets to shore up the Transitional National Council which oversees the rebellion and is co-ordinated by defected ambassadors and civil servants.

Hilary Rodham Clinton will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed before holding a lunch meeting with ministers. The US Secretary of State will also hold bilateral meetings with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Dr. Mohammed Saba,  TNC Executive Bureau Chairman Dr. Mahmoud Jibril, Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Belgian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

The Secretary General of the OIC, Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanogu, addressed the contact group on Wednesday 8th June 2011 saying:

“I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm the strong commitment of the OIC to the Sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya.”

The Secretary-General also expressed support for the pursuit of dialogue with the supporters of Colonel Gaddafi being spearheaded by UN Secretary General’s’ Special Envoy H.E. Abdul Ilah Al-Khatib to “engage the parties in discussions aimed at creating a political process focusing on transition”. 

The African Union has similarly issued a communiqué committing to the sovereignty independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya, though it added some more specifics:

“Qadhafi must go; he has lost all legitimacy and must draw all the consequences by relinquishing power;

“the use of force against civilians by Qadhafi and his followers and mercenaries must cease immediately and unconditionally;

“military forces must withdraw from those cities they have forcibly entered, occupied, and placed under siege, and return to their barracks;

“political transition must be initiated based on the inclusive approach expressed in the Transitional National Council’s “Road Map on Libya”.”

It provided an update of the Contact Group talk saying that the participants had welcomed the extension of NATO’s operations in Libya as well as supporting the decision of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to formally request an arrest warrant for Colonel Gaddafi. The Contact Group also supports the actions of some satellite operators to remove official Libyan TV from the air.

The Transitional National Council of Libya will receive funds from donor states in the form of the

Temporary Financial Mechanism – an instrument for meeting essential TNC expenditure required for “sustaining public services and maintaining basic living conditions among the population”. After the initial decision in Doha, and the adoption in Rome of its terms of reference, the meeting in Abu Dhabi fully established the Temporary Financial Mechanism.

The meeting saw substantial financial contributions provided to the TNC fund from countries including Bahrain, Italy, Kuwait, Qatar, Spain, Turkey and the United States.

Participants in the Contact Group agreed that “one way to address the humanitarian needs of the population of Libya would be to find a mechanism that will allow the unfreezing of Libyan assets, or to use them as security for financing TNC obligations, consistent with the provisions of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including in those areas under the control of the TNC”.

Included in the agreement is that the TNC will restart the production and export of crude oil. The Contact Group encouraged states to “look at how assets that belong to the Libyan people can be best used to help the Libyan people within the context of applicable laws and in the spirit of UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973”.

In return the TNC signed a letter that under its governance, Libya will honour all financial obligations incurred toward loaning countries, and committed that in case of non-repayment the value of these loans may be recuperated from the frozen assets held in loaning countries. The TNC further committed that all future Libyan governments would honour the financial obligations undertaken by the TNC.

About Politics Desk

Politics Desk
Editors and staffers from the Politics Desk at The Global Herald.

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