US Recognizes Rebels as Libya's Government Other nations will follow suit, freeing up billions of dollars By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Jul 15, 2011 10:30 AM CDT 4 comments Comments Hillary Clinton, center, and her UK counterpart William Hague, left, arrive for a group photo during a meeting of Libya Contact Group in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, July 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici) (Newser) – The US will officially recognize the Libyan rebels’ Transitional National Council as the country’s legitimate government, Hillary Clinton announced today at a meeting in Turkey of nations intent on resolving the country's chaos. All 30 members of the International Contact Group gathered there will ultimately recognize the TNC as well, Italy’s foreign minister tells the AP. Italy and France already do so. The recognition isn’t just lip service—it will allow countries to unfreeze more than $30 billion in Libyan assets, money the rebels badly need as their stalemate with Moammar Gadhafi’s forces drags on, the Washington Post reports. The US was on the fence because it wasn’t sure how well the TNC would govern, but was won over by its presentation at the summit.