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WASHINGTON Aug 25 The International Monetary
Fund would be able to recognize a new Libyan government if such
a move were supported by its 187 member countries, an IMF
spokesman said on Thursday, calling for a swift end to the
"When there is a clear, broad-based, international
recognition of a new government in Libya, it is at that point
the fund could or would move towards recognition," IMF
spokesman David Hawley told a regular briefing for reporters.
While oil-rich Libya is not likely to need IMF financing,
the institution's stamp of approval is needed for international
financial and development institutions like the World Bank or
African Development Bank to be involved in post-conflict
Diplomats, however, warn that it is still very early days
as rebel fighters continue to battle pockets of troops loyal to
Muammar Gaddafi, who fled his compound and is in hiding.
Western and Middle East diplomats told Reuters the rebel
National Transitional Council is concerned that if the process
to unfreeze Libya's assets is delayed by U.N. or other
bureaucratic hurdles, it may have to seek bridge financing from
institutions like the World Bank.
Some 30 governments across the world have already said they
recognize the rebel transitional council as the legitimate
representative of Libya.
An opportunity to discuss Libya's post-conflict rebuilding
would be at meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington on
Hawley said any future IMF engagement in Libya would have
to be led by the Libyans.
"The nature of our engagement going forward will depend on
the wishes of any internationally recognized government in the
country," said Hawley.
Meanwhile, a senior official for the Libyan rebel
government said on Thursday it hoped to restart crude exports
within two weeks. Ali Tarhouni, the official in charge of
financial and oil matters, told Reuters that damage to most of
Libya's oil fields had been less than expected. For full
interview, see [ID:nL5E7JP2ZF]
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by James Dalgleish and