Libyan Rebels to Open DC Office

Via the BBC:  Libya: Rebels ‘to open office in US’ – Jeffrey Feltman

US Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman has said Libya’s rebels have accepted an invitation to open a representative office in Washington.

[…]

Mr Feltman said the US was not negotiating with Col Gaddafi, and that the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) was the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.

"I delivered a formal invitation to the council for the opening of a representation in Washington," Mr Feltman said at a news conference. "We are happy they accepted it."

"We have no office in Tripoli now. And we asked the Gaddafi people to close their embassy in Washington. Our officials see members of the council, the council sees us," he added.

"There is an ongoing diplomatic, political relationship and dialogue with members of the council who are considered by our fellows credible and legitimate representatives of the Libyan people."

But Mr Feltman said there was no point in formally recognising the council as "its job is to go out of business" – it plans to wind itself up in the event of the country being reunited and Col Gaddafi overthrown.

It is not just the US:

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton opened an office in Benghazi on Sunday. Germany has also announced the establishment a liaison office there.

FILED UNDER: Africa, Quick Takes, US Politics, World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. CB says:

    can there be any more obvious signs that we are in it to win it (for the rebels) now?

    the jeffersonian in me wants to get behind the effort, but the realist in me never wanted to see obama pull the trigger on this sort of operation. it just looks like more folly to me.

  2. Tylerh says:

    I was opposed to this operation, but dang — Hillary is doing a good job.

    We’ve apparently learned from Iraq: get a credible, western-oriented shadow government in place first, and *then* militarily destroy the tyrant.

    Also, as military campaigns go, this has all gone sour for Gaddafi incredibly fast. Three months ago, there wasn’t even an armed opposition. Now, his army has been forcibly ejected from the second and third largest cities and his forces can’t even hold the remote but vital Wazin crucial border crossing. And he can’t import gasoline.

    Gaddafi wil be gone by Halloween.

  3. CB says:

    We’ve apparently learned from Iraq: get a credible, western-oriented shadow government in place first, and *then* militarily destroy the tyrant.

    but thats eerily similar to what occured with the runup to iraq, and why i cannot get behind the effort 100%. i see far more parallels than lessons learned, even though ill grant you that the TNC is at the very least an organic movement, and not some chalabi-like hack.

    i would also counsel against writing qaddafi off, as a stalemate is by no means a desirable ‘end’ to the conflict. the man also knows a thing or two about staying in power.