Allies to Hand Gadhafi's Assets to Rebels
Rebels also say countries will sell them weapons
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2011 9:06 AM CDT
NATO Foreign Ministers participate in a working lunch meeting on Libya at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, Germany, Thursday.   (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)

(Newser) – Moammar Gadhafi’s frozen assets will be lining the pockets of his rebel enemies, under an agreement struck yesterday by NATO, Arab, and African officials at a closed door meeting in Qatar, the New York Times reports. The agreement comes even as divisions arose about how far to take their military intervention in the country. “This is the money of the Libyans, not of Colonel Gadhafi,” said Italy’s foreign ministry. “People need food, or they need to pay salaries to workers.”

But that’s not all the rebels have in mind. Leaders in Benghazi see the agreement as a sign the allies are ready to sell them weapons. “We are in the final stages of requesting military equipment,” said one member of the Transitional National Counsel. “I don’t think there is going to be any problem.” But while some nations spoke yesterday of the rebels’ rights to arm themselves, the coalition seems unlikely to collectively agree to such a sale. The UN resolution, a Belgian minister noted, “speaks of protecting civilians, not arming civilians.”