Egypt recognizes Libyan opposition goverment

Mohammed Kamel Amr made the announcement in Cairo on Monday during a joint press conference with Abdel Moneim al-Honi, the TNC envoy to Egypt and the Arab League, who defected from Muammar Gaddafi's camp in early March, PressTV reported.

"It pleases me at this historical occasion to announce that Egypt recognizes the new regime in Libya and the National Transitional Council that represents it," AFP quoted Amr as saying.

Libyan revolutionary fighters swept into the heart of Tripoli early on Monday and seized control of most of the city without facing significant resistance from regime forces.

Opposition fighters say they have taken control of over 80 percent of the capital, including the headquarters of the Jamahiriyah state television network, and are trying to secure areas they have captured.

Forces loyal to Gaddafi backed by tanks have opened fired on opposition fighters trying to seize Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziyah compound.

And opposition fighters have been pushed back by Gaddafi loyalists west of Tripoli.

Gaddafi forces still control small areas of the capital, including the streets around the Rixos Hotel, where many Western journalists are based.

Opposition fighters have not managed to find Gaddafi yet and his exact whereabouts are still unknown.

There are unconfirmed reports that he has fled from the country, but other reports say he left the capital after opposition fighters seized control of almost all of the city and is hiding in a bunker outside Tripoli.

There are also reports claiming that Gaddafi has been seen at a hospital near Tajura, which is a suburb of Tripoli.

A diplomatic source said Gaddafi may still be in his Bab al-Aziziyah compound in southern Tripoli, adding that Gaddafi has many bunkers there where he could hide from the revolutionary fighters.

Meanwhile, the head of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) has announced that the Gaddafi era has ended.

Opposition fighters have also captured three of Gaddafi's sons, Saif al-Islam, Muhammad, and Saadi.

The International Criminal Court at The Hague is negotiating for the extradition of Saif al-Islam, who many once believed would succeed his father as leader, on charges of war crimes. The ICC is also seeking the extradition of Muammar Gaddafi.

World leaders have called on Gaddafi to step down. So far, Egypt and Kuwait have recognized the Libyan opposition's National Transitional Council (NTC) as the "legitimate" representative of the Libyan people.

Russia and China have also issued statements saying they are ready to accept what the Libyan people decide.

The NTC has announced that Gaddafi will be tried at a Libyan court if he surrenders.

[Source: Trend, Baku, 23Aug11]

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