The Washington Post

Four senators welcome administration’s recognition of Libyan rebels

Four of the Senate’s top voices on foreign policy voiced their support Friday for the Obama administration’s move to formally recognize rebel leaders as the legitimate governing authority of Libya.

“We welcome the Administration’s decision to recognize the Transitional National Council (TNC) as the legitimate governing authority of Libya,” said Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) in a statement.

The four senators also urged the Obama administration to remove obstacles to the rebel leaders’ ability to access the Gaddafi regime’s frozen assets and to increase the diplomatic presence of the United States in Benghazi, including the designation of a U.S. ambassador to the TNC and the granting of “full diplomatic rights and privileges” to TNC representatives in Washington and New York.

“This is an encouraging step, which demonstrates America’s commitment to support the Libyan people as they fight to liberate their country from the Qaddafi regime and establish democracy,” the quartet said.

The Senate passed a resolution on Libya before the U.S. intervention in that country but has yet to formally weigh in on current U.S. efforts there. Efforts this month at holding a vote on a resolution authorizing U.S. military action in Libya were scotched amid opposition from Republicans, who argued that the chamber should not be considering legislation that does not have anything to do with the ongoing negotiations over raising the country’s debt ceiling.


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