Libya slams 'illegal' French recognition of rebels

10th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Libyan government slammed France's "illegal" decision on Thursday to recognise Libya's rebels and warned that the move could lead to a break in diplomatic relations.

"It is illegitimate, illegal and a provocation against an independent member state of the United Nations," Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaaim told a press conference in Tripoli.

"All options are on the table as regards our response. We are awaiting official word. If the French government persists, we see no other possibility than to break diplomatic relations with France," he said.

Kaaim said the French move "warrants sanctions in international law" and was contrary to the principles of the French republic.

"As you know, as it was confirmed by us beyond any doubt, there is an agreement between some Western countries ... (to) act against us to divide Libya," he said.

Kaaim also accused France and the United States of having violated rules of diplomatic immunity, charging that Paris had detained and questioned two Libyan envoys.

France earlier on Thursday became the first country to recognise Libya's opposition as the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people, officials in Paris said.

© 2011 AFP

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