France became the first country to recognize Libya’s opposition as its rightful government on March 10, and announced it will send an ambassador to rebel-held territory in the east. The move comes ahead of a European Union summit on the Libyan crisis called for the following day. The French decision was immediately praised by the rebels who urged the rest of the world to follow suit. “France has recognised the national transition council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people,” one of the opposition body’s envoys, Ali al-Issawi, told reporters after meeting with Sarkozy. (Middle East Online, March 10) Qaddafi’s forces meanwhile succeeded in taking the oil hub of Ras Lanuf, forcing its rebel defenders to retreat east under a hail of rocket fire. (Middle East Online, March 10)
See our last post on the Libyan crisis.