Polish FM visits Libyan opposition base, with no formal recognition

10:12, May 12, 2011      

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Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski on Wednesday visited the base of Libyan opposition, the first European foreign minister visiting here, but he did not formally announce the formal recognition of the National Transitional Council (NTC) neither by Poland nor the European Union.

After meeting with the NTC's vice chairman and spokesman Abdel Hafed Ghoga, Sikorski told reporters that he had came to Benghazi in consultation with European Union's vice president and high representative for foreign affairs policy.

However, Sikorski denied Poland or the EU now formally recognized the NTC, saying that Poland is fully in line with EU's decision two months ago recognizing the NTC as a legitimate interlocutor.

The Polish foreign minister's visit came as Ashton announced earlier on Wednesday that EU will open an office in Benghazi to support the NTC and help for security sector reform and institution-building.

"My presence here is a proof that Poland has forged practical contact with the council," said Sikorski.

Sikorski assured that both Poland and the EU will provide support in political, humanitarian and cadre training, etc..

"On behalf of Poland and the EU I promise you, you will get that assistance," said Sikorski. He also assured that after taking the presidency of the EU on the first of July, Poland will show our energy in helping democratic aspirations of Libya.

Sikorski asked Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to relinquish the reigns of power as the best thing that now he can do for Libya.

"40 some years has been enough, he now needs to give a chance to other people, to people who has made their choice," said.

The Benghazi-based opposition NTC is now busy fighting against pro-Gaddafi forces in Misrata as well as seeking international recognition and support.

To date France, Italy, Qatar and Kuwait are the only four countries that recognize the NTC as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people.

Source: Xinhua
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