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Experts: Long overdue to recognize Libyan National Transitional Council

Arab World Materials 5 July 2011 09:00
The statement recently made by the Turkish Foreign Ministry about the recognition of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) as a legitimate representative of the people is overdue, experts believe
Experts: Long overdue to recognize Libyan National Transitional Council

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 4 / Trend, A. Taghiyeva /

The statement recently made by the Turkish Foreign Ministry about the recognition of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) as a legitimate representative of the people is overdue, experts believe.

According to Turkish expert on the Middle East Mustafa Ozcan, the step is belated, especially on the backdrop of the NTC's recognition by other countries.

"Erdogan's government had to decide on this step long ago," Ozcan told Trend over telephone from Istanbul.

He said Ankara's overdue step could adversely affect the future development of relations between Libya and Turkey in the future, but the fact that during Libya's transitional government head Abdel Jalil's visit to Turkey he was received by the President and negations were held with him, can mitigate situation.

Turkey recognized the opposition NTC as a legitimate representative of the people and severed relations with Gaddafi's regime by recalling its ambassador to Tripoli.

In Benghazi, which is center of the opposition, the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu met with the NTC leadership. He announced that Ankara has allocated assistance worth $ 200 million to the opposition in addition to 100 million, allocated to Libya earlier.

According to Hilmi Ozev, expert at the Turkish-Asian Studies (TASAM), the Arab community has long awaited recognition of the Libyan National Transitional Council by Turkey, as Ankara plays an active role in the processes ongoing in the region.

"Ankara has delayed the process as much as possible. But time has shown that Turkey has to take this step," Ozev told Trend over telephone from Istanbul.

He said the delay in recognition of Libyan NTC by the Turkish Government harmed Ankara's interests.

"The fact that European countries have recognized the Libyan NTC before Turkey, will reduce Ankara's authority among the Arab community," Ozev added.

Ozev believes that the delay in recognition of Libyan NTC by Ankara can be explained by the fact that Turkey from the first days of events in Libya tried to diplomatically resolve the crisis in the country, not expressing its certain position.

"However Turkey has failed in this diplomacy, especially after France's unexpected intervention in this matter," Ozev underlined.

According to Turkish MP Fevzi Shanverdi, recognition of Libya's NTC is not delayed, because unlike European countries, Turkey as a country involved in all processes in the Middle East, can not take side in the conflict, not thinking about consequences.

"At times, further situation in the region depends on Turkey's decisions, so that Ankara can not take any big step, without weighing the pros and cons," Shanverdi, Turkey-Libya inter-parliamentary friendship group head, told Trend over telephone from Ankara.

He said Libya and Turkey have close relations and cooperation in many spheres, so Ankara is extremely careful in this respect.

The conflict in Libya began with mass protests against Muammar Gaddafi's regime in mid-February and escalated into armed confrontation by the end of the month. UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for the closure of airspace over Libya to stop
firing of rebel forces and civilian casualties on March 17.

In Benghazi, eastern Libya, the rebels formed Libyan National Transitional Council on Feb. 27, which they declared the only legitimate authority in the country. The NTC includes about 30 representatives of the Libyan opposition from the eastern regions --
both military and civilians.

The NTC is headed by Mustafa Mohammed Abdel Jalil -- the former Secretary of Libyan General People's Committee of Justice, who left the government on Feb. 26.

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