Senegal grants diplomatic recognition to Libya rebels
Senegal announced Saturday it was granting diplomatic recognition to Libya’s rebels, saying it regarded the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council as the country’s legitimate representative.
The decision by President Abdoulaye Wade comes after he held talks with a top envoy of the Benghazi-based NTC rebels, his office said.
After consultations with the presidents of the two house of parliaments, Wade has decided to “recognise the NTC as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people and grants it authorisation to open a representative bureau in Dakar,” said a statement from the president’s office.
The move comes after Wade met in Paris on Friday with Ali Zeidan, a special envoy of the NTC’s supremo Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the statement added.
Abdul Jalil spoke last week by telephone with Wade ahead of a key African Union meeting on the conflict in Libya when he asked for the support of Senegal and promised to “respect democratic principles, human rights and to pursue good relations with the AU and the states of Africa”.
He also invited Wade to Benghazi, the headquarters of the rebels.
Senegal’s neighbour Gambia was one of the first countries to recognise the NTC, along with France, Italy and Qatar.