Fri, Aug 26, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Arab League gives its full backing to Libya’s rebel council

Reuters and AFP, CAIRO and Milan

The Arab League gave its full backing to Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people yesterday and said it was time for Libya to take back its permanent seat on the League’s council.

“We agreed that it is time for Libya to take back its legitimate seat and place at the Arab League. The NTC will be the legitimate representative of the Libyan state,” the League’s secretary general Nabil Elaraby told reporters in Cairo.

The NTC’s representative at the League, Abdelmoneim el-Houni, said Libya would resume its League membership at a meeting of Arab ministers on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Muammar Qaddafi’s former central bank governor, Farhat Bengdara, said yesterday that Qaddafi would try to sell part of Libya’s gold reserves to pay for his protection and sow chaos among tribes in the north African country.

Bengdara, who has allied himself with the Libyan rebels, told the Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, that an ally of Qaddafi had offered 25 tons of gold to a friend of his “a little time ago”.

“My friend referred it to me and I suggested that he refuse and my friend immediately rejected the approach. But it is a clear indication,” Bengdara said in the interview published yesterday.

He said his friend was not Libyan but declined to give any further details.

There are gold reserves worth US$10 billion in Tripoli and Qaddafi could have taken some of that amount, he said.

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