World Powers Consider Next Move With Libya

Posted August 24th, 2011 at 1:00 pm (UTC-5)
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World powers are considering their next steps in relations with Libya, where Moammar Gadhafi has apparently lost control of the capital, Tripoli, and other major cities.

The United States says it will introduce a resolution in the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that would unfreeze about $1.5 billion in Libyan assets for humanitarian needs. The assets were blocked under U.N. sanctions.

Earlier Wednesday, France said it was working with its Security Council allies to release the assets while Britain said it was also exploring ways to help Libya.

Separately, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday his country would consider establishing relations with the anti-Gadhafi forces. In his first public comments since the rebels stormed Tripoli, Mr. Medvedev said Russia may do so if the group can “unite the country.”

Nicaraguan officials said Tuesday their country would consider offering asylum to Mr. Gadhafi, but that he had not asked for such a measure,

Also Tuesday, the Chinese government said it is asking the United Nations to lead post-conflict efforts to establish order in Libya. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi urged U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to play a leading role and work with other groups to restore order.

China, which has billions of dollars in trade deals with Libya, initially adopted a policy of non-interference in Libya's revolution and refused to follow the lead of other countries in recognizing the Libyan rebels as the country's new government.

Mr. Ban is expected to hold an urgent meeting this week on Libya with major organizations that include the African Union, European Union and Arab League.

The African Union, which tried to mediate the Libyan conflict, has yet to recognize the rebels. AU heads of state are scheduled to hold a series of meetings in Ethiopia this week.

Despite the Libyan rebels recent military gains, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez declared Tuesday that he will continue to recognize Gadhafi as Libya's legitimate ruler. He also reiterated his statements condemning the NATO airstrikes in the country and accusing Western countries of seeking to steal Libya's resources.