Thursday, May 05, 2011

Funding Counter-Revolutionary Piracy in Libya

Funding counter-revolutionary piracy in Libya

Fri May 6, 2011 1:10AM

Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim has denounced an international plan to fund the rebels with frozen government assets as "piracy on the high seas."

The international Libya Contact Group on Thursday announced the establishment of a special fund to support the Libyan rebels against Muammar Gaddafi, and promised to tap frozen assets of the embattled Libyan ruler.

Meanwhile, a harsh reaction came from Tripoli with the Libyan deputy foreign minister saying the International Contact Group is "ambiguous, it's a strange body, and we consider it a non-entity," Reuters quoted Kaim as saying after the group met in Rome.

"Libya still, according to the international law, is one sovereign state and any use of the frozen assets, it's like piracy on the high seas," he added.

When asked whether the Libyan regime would guarantee the safety of ships carrying aid to the besieged opposition-controlled city of Misratah, the Libyan official replied: "We will not allow those ships to bring arms to the city and then to evacuate some criminals."

Kaim went on to say that the government's decision to cut off the rebels' access to the Mediterranean Sea -- their final lifeline-- remains unchanged.

Libya's Ministry of Transportation has said the port is closed and that any foreign ship or vessel will be targeted by the armed forces.

On Wednesday, a ferry chartered by the International Organization for Migration, offloaded supplies and onloaded refugees at the Misratah port amid a hail of artillery fire by Gaddafi's forces.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen had said on Wednesday that Libyan opposition forces should be supported financially to enable them to remove the country's ruler from power.

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