Gaddafi rejects international recognition of rebels
Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi has rejected the recognition by 40 countries and other world powers of the rebel Transitional National Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, RIA Novosti reported.
"Trample on those recognitions, trample on them under your feet ... They are worthless," Gaddafi told his supporters in an audio message broadcast Friday night on state-run Libyan TV. "Their decisions ... their recognition ... they are all now under your feet. Stomp on them."
The Libya Contact Group, which met on Friday in Istanbul, announced that it recognized the Libyan rebels' council as "the legitimate governing authority in Libya" until the establishment of an interim authority.
Libya has been rocked by fighting between pro- and anti-government forces since mid-February. An international military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution and has been extended until September.
UN Security Council Resolution 1970, passed in February, prohibited states from providing any kind of arms to Libya. Resolution 1973, passed a month later, authorized countries "to take all necessary measures" to help protect Libyan civilians.