Czech Republic recognizes Libya's NTC, hands over aid

16:50, June 30, 2011      

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The Czech Republic recognized the Libyan opposition National Transitional Council ( NTC) on Wednesday and delivered humanitarian aid to Libyan hospitals.

During his visit to the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said the Czech Republic recognizes the NTC as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.

The Czech Republic and Libya maintained sound cooperation in the 1990s, Schwarzenberg said, adding that after talking with the NTC officials, he thought "this kind of cooperation will continue. "

Schwarzenberg also brought humanitarian aid to Libya, for which the Czech government earmarked 2.5 million Koruna (about 147,000 U. S. dollars) to help hospitals in Libya's eastern region gain medical equipment.

On their way home, the Czech delegation will take a number of children who were injured in the conflicts to receive treatment.

Since the fighting against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi broke out in mid-February, the rebels have been lobbying the international community for support.

The NTC has so far been recognized as Libya's official representative by a number of countries, including France, Italy, Spain and Germany.

The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants on Monday for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi, Libya's head of intelligence, on charges of crimes against humanity.

The ICC prosecutors alleged they were involved in the killing of protesters when anti-government protests broke out in the North African country in February against Gaddafi's 42-year rule.

The Libyan officials rejected the court's authority even before the decision was read in Hague, accusing the court of unfairly targeting Africans while ignoring what they called crimes committed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Afghanistan, Iraq "and in Libya now."

Source: Xinhua
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