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LIBYA: Rebel government increasingly recognized

August 24, 2011 | 10:45 am

Meeting
Countries appeared to be increasingly recognizing the nascent rebel government in Libya Wednesday -- and expelling those who do not.

Libya's ambassador to Gabon left the country after a formal request by the Gabonese government, a foreign ministry spokesman told Agence France-Presse Wednesday.

President Ali Bongo Ondimba's government had already recognized the rebel National Transitional Council earlier this month as, "the only representative of the Libyan people," foreign ministry spokesman Jean Claude Franck Mendome said.

Gabon's foreign minister summoned the Libyan ambassador and asked him to leave the country by Tuesday "at the latest," Mendome said.

"The ambassador has left Gabon and can be found in Cameroon," Mendome said, adding that similar requests have been made of other diplomats and their families, without specifying if any other Libyan officials have left.

Meanwhile, neighboring Chad also recognized the rebel Libyan government Wednesday as, "the only legitimate authority of the Libyan people," foreign ministry secretary general Moussa Dago said.

It was not clear what effect recognition might have on Moammar Kadafi's ability to flee to Chad. Some have speculated that Kadafi may have left Tripoli and may be hiding out in the southern stronghold of Sabha and preparing to flee across the border, where he might seek shelter despite an active warrant from the International Criminal Court.

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-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, Mahmoud Jibril, right at center, head of the the Libyan rebels' acting cabinet, and other officials attend a Wednesday meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris. They met to discuss the political transition to a free and democratic Libya. Credit: Jacques Brinon / EPA

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