From Selcan Hacaoglu, the AP: Turkey’s foreign minister recognized Libya’s rebel leaders as the country’s legitimate representatives and promised them an additional $200 million in aid during a visit Sunday.
The visit by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu signaled a further policy shift for Ankara. Turkey, a key regional power, had initially balked at the idea of military action in Libya, but as a NATO member is now supporting the alliance’s air strikes there. Turkish companies were involved in construction projects worth billions of dollars in Libya before the February outbreak of a Libyan anti-government uprising that has evolved into a protracted armed conflict.
Davutoglu met with Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the rebels’ National Transitional Council, in a heavily guarded government building in the city of Benghazi, the rebel’s main stronghold in eastern Libya. He later addressed a news conference with Ali al-Essawi, who serves as the rebels’ foreign minister.
The Turkish visitor said his country recognizes the rebel leaders as the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people. Several other countries, including France, Qatar and Italy, have previously recognized the rebels. . . .
Turkey has already granted the Libyan opposition $100 million in aid and promised an additional $200 million. Some of the money is to be used to improve the infrastructure of Benghazi and rehabilitate its airport. (photo: Reuters)