Germany to loan funds to Libyan rebels within days

Germany is to begin lending 100 million euros (140 million dollars) to Libya's rebel leadership within days, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Tuesday in Berlin, dpa reported.

Under an accord signed Monday in the Libyan city of Benghazi, the first tranche of the loan will be sent to the Transitional National Council to finance its operations.

"The country can't be allowed to sink into chaos in the era after (Libyan leader Moamer) Gaddafi. It has to return to order," he said. Westerwelle said the loan, with foreign assets as collateral, had been agreed in principle last month.

Benghazi is to keep the money until the frozen foreign assets of the Gaddafi regime are released. Germany alone is holding assets worth 7.2 billion euros.

Westerwelle also called for the UN Security Council to pass a new resolution on Libya "as soon as possible," so that billions of dollars in frozen assets could be returned to the Libyan people.

The United Nations had to play a "key role" in reconstruction, he added.

[Source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Berlin, 23Aug11]

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