Libyan government tanks and snipers put up scattered, last-ditch resistance in Tripoli on Monday after rebels swept into the heart of the capital, Tripoli, signaling the end of the 42-year reign of Muammar Gaddafi.
The chairman of the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, has said no one knows the whereabouts of the Libyan leader, Al Arabiya television said on Monday.
Libya’s rebel NTC has declared itself the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people and has formed an interim government as it conducted military operations aimed at removing Gaddafi.
More than 30 countries have now recognized the NTC as legitimately representing the Libyan people, the latest being Egypt. Palestine President Mahmood Abbas also said on Monday that Palestine recognized the NTC.
Also on Monday, the Arab League threw its weight behind Libya’s rebels. The league had suspended Libya’s membership after Gaddafi’s forces launched its bloody crackdown.
Others have implicitly recognized the Council as a political force for example by visiting its leaders in its Benghazi stronghold, or hosting them for talks, but have stopped short of full recognition.
RECOGNITION OF NTC AS REPRESENTING LIBYAN PEOPLE
United Arab Emirates
RECOGNITION AS OF NTC LEGITIMATE POLITICAL FORCE
Sources: Reuters, official government websites
* Turkey first recognized the National Council as a legitimate representative of the Libyan people in June. However, officials said that did not mean it was the only representative of the Libyan people, and they made the same qualification after Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu repeated this position on July 3. Turkey has cut its diplomatic ties with Muammar Gaddafi’s government.
** Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi described the NTC diplomatic chief Mahmoud Jibril as an “important dialogue partner” during Jibril’s trip to Beijing in June.
*** Russia will not recognize the NTC as the sole legitimate representative but it does recognize it as a party to the talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
-- Russia has also said Gaddafi must go, but has criticized the Western bombing campaign and urged talks between rebels and the government. Lavrov suggested that recognizing the rebel council as Libya’s sole legitimate government would not help.