International powers boost support for Libyan rebels
NATO has stepped up its bombing campaign against key targets in Libya's capital in recent days.
June 9th, 2011
05:45 PM ET

International powers boost support for Libyan rebels

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (CNN) - World powers beefed up financial and moral support for the Libyan opposition Thursday at an international coalition meeting aimed at charting the course of a post-Moammar Gadhafi Libya.

Talk at the meeting in the United Arab Emirates focused on sustaining pressure on the embattled Libyan leader. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said "numerous and continuous discussions" on a transition of power were taking place among people close to Gadhafi.

A spokesman for a Libyan opposition group told CNN that Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, was the primary negotiator for an exit plan for his father, but suggested the timing of the talks might not be good.

"I'm not sure there's a lot of people willing to listen right now," said Mohammed Ali Abdallah of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya.

Abdallah said a southern front had opened up in the fighting and that Gadhafi's days were numbered.

"We are in the final phases," Abdallah said. "Gadhafi's military power has significantly been reduced. He is basically rattled."

Clinton announced an additional $26 million in U.S. aid for the victims of Libya's ongoing war and said time was on the international coalition's side so long as Gadhafi faced sustained pressure.

"The violence must stop," she said. "Gadhafi must go."

Financial assistance flowed at the meeting, the third the international Libya group has held since war erupted.

Italy pledged up to $580 million to the Libyan opposition's Transitional National Council - which is facing a budget shortfall - to cover its expenses, but not weapons, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Maurizio Massari said.

And Kuwait is donating the $180 million it promised in April for humanitarian needs, said Sheikh Mohammed Sabah al Salman al Sabah, the Gulf nation's deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs.

France, Italy and Qatar are among a small number of countries that have recognized the Transitional National Council as the legitimate government of Libya.

While the United States has yet to officially recognize the rebel government, President Barack Obama "has invited them to open an office in Washington," a senior administration official told reporters traveling with Clinton to the meeting in Abu Dhabi.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity as a matter of practice for a press background briefing.

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  1. roddney Kaylor

    Thank you for covering LIbya no one seems to want to question this. The Libyan Leader is being attacked and the UN resolution does not call for all out war against Libya and if a Nation wants to have a civil war they must bare the burden. What would we be if we called for help during are revolution witch way, way more wore killed every day than in Libya and if we can leaders now witch is against International law and are own law then who is next. These war is illegal

    June 9, 2011 at 11:30 pm |