France gives 259-mln-USD Libyan assets to rebels

France has unlocked 259 million U.S. dollars of previously frozen Libyan assets for Libyan opposition body, the National Transition Council (CNT), the foreign ministry announced Monday.

"The Minister of State announced to his interlocutor that the process of unlocking Libyan funds succeed and has made the CNT available to the sum of 259 million US dollars," said a statement issued by the ministry.

Earlier in the day, French Foreign Minister, also the Minister of State Alain Juppe, hold a meeting with Mansour Seyf Al-Nasr, the CNT special envoy to France, who was regarded by France "a sign of closeness and trust that characterize relations between France and the CNT."

The talks was "about the funds that belong to Libyan people" and which "will serve the purchase of medicines and food," Al-Nasr was quoted by French news agency AFP.

"The CNT can now benefit from these funds for humanitarian purchases, in accordance with European regulations," the statement released after their talks added.

France previously called Al-Nasr the ambassador of Libya and in the statement allowed him to move into the residence of Libyan embassy in Paris.

The new CNT envoy also told the French minister that their administration has established a judicial commission to probe into the death of the chief rebel military commander Abdel-Fattah Younis, who was killed last week.

France took the lead to recognize the CNT as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people in March and set up a close tie with the rebel body. The United States and Britain followed the suit to recognize the CNT in July.

[Source: Xinhua, Paris, 01Aug11]

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