Libyan rebels open embassy in London

William Hague invited rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) to take over the embassy.

Last Updated: Aug 09, 2011, 21:21 PM IST

London: Libya`s rebel council officially took
over the country`s embassy in Britain today, opening its doors
as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people in
London.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who invited the
rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) to take over the
embassy and appoint an official envoy at the end of last
month, welcomed the move.

"The National Transitional Council is the sole legitimate
governmental authority in Libya. It is therefore right that
their representatives are now staffing the Libyan embassy,"
Hague said.

"Doing so marks very clearly the fundamental change that
is taking place in Libya."

He said Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, whose diplomats
were expelled from Britain last month following Hague`s
announcement, had lost all legitimacy and was now trying to
keep hold of power "with increasing desperation".

The embassy is now headed by the NTC`s charge d`affaires,
Mahmud Nacua, who officially opened the mission by hoisting
the black, red and green Libyan flag with a crescent and star
which Gaddafi had banned for more than 40 years.

In a statement, Nacua said it was a "very important
moment", saying: "The re-opening of the embassy symbolises how
far we have come."

He promised the diplomatic mission would "serve all the
Libyan community irrespective of their political allegiances",
and thanked the British government for its "steadfast
support".

PTI