Pro-rebel nations to profit from new Libya: rebel 'minister'

6th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Countries that have backed the uprising against Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi will reap the economic rewards when he is deposed, the rebels' "finance minister" said Wednesday.

In an interview with German weekly Die Zeit, Ali Tarhouni said the rebels would seek to transform Libya's economy and wean it off its dependence on oil exports.

"We have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world here and they are right next to Europe," he said, in remarks published in German.

"And I hope that we will be able to build Libya up into a financial centre with help from international investors," added the former professor of economics at the University of Washington in Seattle.

"I think that countries which like France stood very quickly by our side will enjoy the advantages," he said.

France has been in the vanguard of international efforts to depose Khadafi, both diplomatically and militarily.

In contrast, Germany abstained in a United Nations resolution establishing a no-fly zone and has refused to allow its military to participate in the international action against Tripoli.

While the outcome of the struggle remains in the balance, one thing is clear, said Tahouni: new banknotes will be in circulation "as soon as possible."

"I do not want to see Kadhafi's face on my banknotes," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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