France, US hail 'historic' Libyan step at UN
France and the United States on Friday hailed a "historic" milestone in Libya's renewal after the National Transitional Council claimed the country's UN seat.
"It is a historic moment. This vote confirms the reintegration of Libya in the concert of nations which is welcoming the representatives of the new Libya," said France's UN ambassador Gerard Araud.
"It is another step in the return to normal and we welcome that."
The 193-member UN General Assembly voted 114 to 17, with 15 abstentions, to let the former rebel leadership take the UN seat once held by Moamer Kadhafi's government.
France and the United States played key roles in the western action to get UN sanctions imposed on the longtime leader and also were at the heart of the NATO air strikes against Kadhafi targets.
US ambassador Susan Rice called UN membership for the Libyan interim administration a "historic step."
"The Libyan people still have much more work to do, but they also have the full knowledge that the international community, including the United States, stands ready to help their transition towards democracy, prosperity and the rule of law," she said in a statement.
"For many months, the international community has been inspired by the courage of the Libyan people."
© 2011 AFP