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Gaddafi regime defector recognized as new chief Libyan diplomat in Canada

(Xinhua)

17:26, August 26, 2011

OTTAWA, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Canada has recognized the Libyan Transitional Council as the legitimate government of Libya and accredited on Thursday one of its diplomats as Libya's new representative in Ottawa.

In a statement, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said: "I am pleased to welcome Abubaker Karmos, appointee of the National Transitional Council (NTC) of Libya, as charg d'affaires ad interim at the Embassy of Libya in Canada."

Karmos' accreditation by Canada was completed Thursday morning and he has already assumed his functions. Canada will interact with the NTC as Libya's government until the Libyan people select for themselves elected representatives.

"The NTC flag now hangs among those of the world's nations in the lobby of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada headquarters in Ottawa," said the minister.

According to Baird, Karmos thanked Canada and the Canadian people for their strong and early support of the NTC's struggle against Gaddafi.

"Canada urges all Libyans to immediately undertake a process of national reconciliation. We will support the NTC in developing governance and democratic institutional reforms. When security permits, Canada intends to resume normal operations at the Canadian embassy in Tripoli," Baird said.

Karmos, who was sent to Ottawa by the Gaddafi regime one year ago, defected from the Libyan embassy in February and was granted asylum by the Canadian government.

Karmos told journalists that he is grateful for Canada's decision to send a frigate and warplanes to support the anti- Gaddafi rebels.

"Nobody in their right mind could still associate with such a regime," he said. "Now we want to rebuild the country."

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