Photo credit: Al Arabiya English
Germany has recognized Libya’s rebels as “the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people.” This recognition has triggered support for the leaders poised to run Libya if Muammar Gaddafi falls.
This action by Germany is significant because Germany was under criticism for not weighing into the Libyan conflict and refusing to support the UN Security Council's resolution authorizing NATO action to protect Libyan civilians. The Germans were accused of failing to live up to their international obligations and failing to support NATO’s air campaign.
"We want a free Libya, in peace and democracy without [Muammar] Gaddafi," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in the rebel stronghold Benghazi. "We share the same goal — Libya without Gaddafi.” This drew applause from Libyans listening to Westerwelle deliver this announcement.
Rebel officials welcomed German’s decision as they joined the ranks of other states, France, Italy, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates in regaining the rebel council. "It is a very big step and we appreciate it," said Abdel Hafiz Gogha, the NTC's vice chairman.