Rebels Leave White House Without Recognition

Libyan coalition fails to secure recognition as legitimate interim governing body
By Luke Kelly-Clyne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2011 10:38 AM CDT
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., second from right, talks about his meeting with a Libyan delegation opposed to the regime of Moammar Gadhafi, Wednesday, May 11, 2011,...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Libyan rebels just can't quite get what they want from the White House. A meeting between a delegation of rebels and US national security advisers yesterday ended with a statement from the US calling the Libyan Transitional National Council a “legitimate and credible interlocutor of the Libyan people”—but the rebels left without the words they were really hoping to hear: official recognition that they are the interim government of Libya. The US also stayed mum on any efforts to share with the rebels any of the $34 billion it holds in Libyan funds, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

In another sign the White House isn't offering an open-arms embrace, Obama opted not to stop by the meeting. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday explained some of the Obama administration's reluctance stems from the fact that “we don’t know who they are.” The White House did indicate that it will continue to work with NATO to carry out air raids against Gadhafi, a campaign that ramped up this week as NATO forces bombed a compound where Gadhafi was believed to be hiding. It's rumored that Gadhafi was injured and has fled Tripoli.

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