Nations Around the World Give Libyan Rebels Legitimacy

The move frees up almost $30 billion in Moammar Gadhafi’s frozen American assets.

Posted: 07/15/2011 01:38 PM EDT
Hilary Clinton

On Friday, the Obama administration, along with more than 30 other countries, officially recognized Libya’s main opposition group as a legitimate government.


The decision also declared the regime of longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi illegitimate and urged him and members of his family to leave.


"The United States views the Gadhafi regime as no longer having any legitimate authority in Libya," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Friday at a conference in Istanbul. "And so I am announcing today that, until an interim authority is in place, the United States will recognize the NTC as the legitimate governing authority for Libya, and we will deal with it on that basis."


The move frees up more than $30 billion of the Gadhafi regime’s frozen assets in American banks. The money will go to the top anti-Gadhafi group in Libya, Transitional National Council, which they desperately need to fight Gadhafi's forces.


Since February, rebel forces backed by NATO and the U.S. have been fighting to oust Gadhafi. Currently, the rebels control most of Libya’s east, with Gadhafi still in power over the remaining areas, including capital city Tripoli.

(Photo: AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)