Ottawa: Canada says it will formally recognize the Libyan rebels as the legitimate government of the country.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird told Parliament Tuesday the rebels are the true representatives of the Libyan people.
The minister`s announcement came as Parliament opened a day-long debate on extending Canada`s military commitment to the NATO-led mission in Libya. Prime Minister Stephen Harper`s government plans to extend an initial three-month commitment to the end of September.
Baird says the recognition is part of an enhanced effort to work with the National Transitional Council of Libya, the key rebel organization fighting dictator Moammar GadDafi.
Canada joins France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in formally recognizing the council.