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Libyan rebels hail US after recognition

Libya’s rebel council on Friday hailed the United States as a “protector and promoter of democracy” after Washington announced it would recognise the group as Libya’s de facto government.


“The National Transitional Council today expressed its gratitude and respect to the people of the United States of America for recognising the NTC as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people,” the council said in a statement. “The US has consistently developed its credentials as the protector and promoter of democracy and freedom across the world,” said NTC vice chairman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga. Earlier US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Istanbul the NTC had offered “important assurances” to pursue democratic reform, uphold Libya’s international obligations and disburse funds transparently. “The United States is impressed by the progress the NTC has made in laying the groundwork for a successful transition… which reinforce our confidence that it is the appropriate interlocutor for us,” she told reporters. US senators seek embassy Meanwhile, a group of US senators have called on President Barack Obama to open a US embassy in Benghazi, the capital of rebel-held Libya. Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Independent Joe Lieberman welcomed the move to recognize the NTC as the country’s de facto government. They said it “demonstrates America’s commitment to support the Libyan people as they fight to liberate their country from the Kadhafi regime and establish democracy.” In a statement, the senators urged the Obama administration “to increase our diplomatic presence in Benghazi, designate a US ambassador to the NTC, and give the NTC’s representatives in Washington and New York full diplomatic rights and privileges.”


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