Representatives of at least 23 regional councils of Libya yesterday announced their unequivocal support to the Transitional National Council (TNC) and its chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil during a conference in Doha. The leaders, hailing from across the north African country, converged in Qatar, after an invitation from the Qatari government and highlighted the issues surrounding the ongoing uprising in Libya.
“As we continue our support for the 17th February uprising and, in defiance of the regime’s claims, we announce unequivocally our allegiance to, and trust in, the TNC – under the leadership of Mustafa Abdul Jalil,” their combined statement read.
Abdul Jalil, a former justice minister in the Muammar Gaddafi government, broke away from the regime and assumed the responsibility of leading the TNC, which has now been recognised by a number of countries in the world.
Qatar recognised the TNC as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people on March 28, a day after it concluded a deal to market oil exports from the territory administered by the council.
Qatar’s recognition of the council subsequently received support from the Gulf Co-operation Council.
“We also loudly proclaim our commitment for our beloved nation to help achieve the Libyan people’s aspirations in ending the oppressive and unlawful regime,” the statement read.
“Our aim is to work together towards establishing a nation based on modern democratic constitution that respects human rights, justice, diversity and moderation… working with the rest of the international community for the maintenance of global peace and security,” it added.
Earlier, taking questions from local and international media, the representatives said the TNC was constantly expanding and “will continue to do so until we enter Tripoli”.
“The situation in Tripoli (the capital) is seething with revolution and regular clashes. Despite a siege, students of Tripoli University made a statement in favour of the TNC this week,” the officials said.
Responding to another question of some Arab countries’ reluctance to recognise the TNC, the officials said all the GCC countries, barring Bahrain and Oman, have recognised the council, in addition to Morocco.
“Others have intentioned to recognise by inviting TNC delegates and by refusing Gaddafi delegates. That is enough for us,” they said.
On the financial status of the TNC, the officials said efforts were under way to recover the people’s money from Gaddafi.
“Our central bank governor is in Doha right now and making the efforts,” they said.
To the question of Nato support, the regional council representatives said there were “hundreds of consultants engaged in training. The consultation is limited to communications and air satellites. There are no foreign troops on the ground.”
“We also ask if you have any weapons to please help us… international community too, if they can. Just like any oppressed people, we need help to fight back,” the officials said.
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