LONDON, Aug. 10 (UPI) — Libya’s rebel-backed Transitional National Council is staffing the Libyan Embassy in London, the British foreign secretary announced.
London said in July that it recognized the TNC as the sole governmental authority in Libya. All members of the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi were subsequently asked to leave the country.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague in a statement said that as the sole governmental authority in Libya, the TNC has the right to staff the embassy in London.
“Doing so marks very clearly the fundamental change that is taking place in Libya,” he said in a statement.
NATO forces operating under a U.N. Security Council mandate authorizing military force to protect civilians from attacks by Gadhafi loyalists started enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya five months ago.
Despite the lack of clear military gains on the ground, the TNC has made diplomatic ground by gaining recognition of key European countries and the United States.
“People from across the country have decided to abandon Gadhafi,” maintained Hague. “His actions have left him without legitimacy and he is trying to cling to power with increasing desperation.”