Italy recognises rebel leaders as Libyan govt
Italy, Libya's biggest trading partner, on Monday became the second European government to formally recognize Libyan rebels as their country's legitimate government.
talian foreign minister Franco Frattini made the announcement during a Rome press conference with Libyan rebel representative Ali Issawi.
"We've decided to recognise the Libyan National Council," he said, referring to the leadership arm of the Libyan rebellion.
France's recognition of the rebel leaders last month emboldened them to confront Muammar Gaddafi's well-armed military on the battle field. Supported by airstrikes carried out by warplanes belonging an Amercian-European coalition, the rebels have gained territory.
Frattini said there is no diplomatic solution for end the conflict, leaving Gaddafi no choice but to give up power.
"The regime in Tripoli doesn't have a future and Libya has lost its legitimacy, " Frattini said, adding that Gaddafi and his family must leave Libya.
Frattini said Rome would open an office in rebel-held territory and formally recognize
Libya on Sunday sent an envoy to Greece to discuss an exit from the fighting with rebels who aim to topple Gaddafi's 41-year old rule and the Nato military coalition that is supporting them with airstrikes.
Libyan deputy foreign minister Abdelati Obeidi was then due to visit Turkey and Malta.
"The regime of Tripoli is sending people to Greece to make proposals. The proposals are not credible. It is not possible to accept them," Frattini said in an apparent reference to a visit by a regime envoy to Athens.
[Source: Rome, IGN, ADN Kronos, 04Apr11]
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