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.
SCHEDULE: Nancy Pelosi was expected to visit the legislature for about an hour before speaking with democracy advocates at Jingmei Human Rights Park US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taipei last night and was reportedly scheduled to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), legislators and democracy advocates before departing later today. The speaker departed from Kuala Lumpur yesterday afternoon and touched down at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at about 10:43pm, where she was greeted by Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮). The stop marks the first time in 25 years that a sitting US House speaker is visiting Taiwan. Beijing has strongly condemned the visit, with Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) yesterday warning that the US “will
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‘IRRATIONAL ACTS’: The defense ministry condemned the drills, during which China tested successors to missiles deployed during the Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1995 and 1996 China yesterday fired several Dongfeng ballistic missiles as it began four days of unprecedented military drills off Taiwan proper following US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei the previous day. On Tuesday, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) said Beijing would “take all necessary measures” in retaliation should Pelosi visit Taiwan during her Asia tour. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from 1:56pm to 4pm fired 11 Dongfeng missiles into waters north, east and south of Taiwan proper, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. Taiwanese armed forces, using “forward warning and surveillance mechanisms,” monitored the missile tests
ANNEXATION PLANS: Remarks by the Chinese ambassador to France showed that Beijing seeks to normalize genocide, re-education and gulags, a US official said European and US officials condemned comments from Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye (盧沙野), after he on Wednesday said that Taiwanese would be “re-educated” after any annexation by China. In an interview on French television, Lu accused the Democratic Progressive Party of “extremist” propaganda and turning Taiwanese against “reunification” with China. “We will re-educate. I’m sure that the Taiwanese population will again become favorable of the reunification and will become patriots again,” Lu told BFM TV. The term “re-education” has been used to describe Chinese authorities’ treatment of Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang. European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defense Chairwoman