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International Leaders Pledge $1B to Back Libyan Rebels

Gadhafi regime close to exit: officials
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 10, 2011 10:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – Countries that stepped into the Libyan conflict are promising $1 billion in support for the rebel cause. The pledge from nations including Italy, France, Turkey, and Australia is backed in large part by Libyan assets, notes the New York Times, but some legal considerations still stand between the money and the rebels. The rebels in eastern Libya have asked for $3 billion, and call diplomatic efforts far too slow: "It’s beyond frustration,” says the opposition finance minister.

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The US and Australia have joined the list of countries recognizing the legitimate authority of the opposition. Officials maintain that Moammar Gadhafi’s regime is near collapse, with his son Seif al Islam reportedly eyeing a negotiated exit as NATO redoubles its efforts in Tripoli. “There have been obviously multiple feelers from the Gadhafi regime to various members of the international community coming every other day,” says Australia’s foreign minister. “Gadhafi’s days are well and truly numbered.” Meanwhile, a Libyan diplomat in Geneva says reports of mass rape by Libyan soldiers are false. (Read more Libya stories.)

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