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The EU recognizes, de facto, the Libyan Interim National Council (MAJ)

Between N. Sarkozy (in front) and A. Merkel (behind) at the top, a smile was not automatically in order and the positions on Libya diametrically opposed (Credit: Council of the EU)

The last reservations have been removed. And even if the words are carefully chosen, the reality is there. The 27 heads of state and government of the European Union, meeting today in Brussels for an exceptional summit on the Libyan crisis, recognize the opposition based in Benghazi as “ a political interlocutor ". It is not marked "legitimate". But the heart is there. And everyone can estimate it that way. We thus arrive at de facto and not de jure recognition, as Janos Martonyi indicated yesterday.

Gaddafi is no longer the legitimate interlocutor, the Interim National Council is !

According to the text of the conclusions published just now, “ the European Union welcomes and encourages the Interim Transitional National Council, based in Benghazi, which is considered un political interlocutor. » The word “one” is the key to consensus. It is not the "alone” interlocutor, there could be others, insists a German diplomat. On the other hand, on Gaddafi it is clear. “ Colonel Gaddafi must leave power immediately. Its power has lost all legitimacy and is no longer an interlocutor for the EU” Europe thus avoids the temptation of emptiness. As Nicolas Sarkozy explained during his press conference, it was important “to avoid a process of Somaliization, by saying that the current leader must leave power without recognizing another.”

(Update, 20 p.m.) A team from the European Diplomatic Service (EEAS) should quickly go to Benghazi, an opposition stronghold, announced a senior European official. It could be placed under the direction of Agostino Miozzo, director of the “Crisis Responses” Department at the EEAS. A. Miozzo recently went to Tripoli for an “exploratory technical” mission.

Europe ready to support a new rule of law in Libya

The Union also shows its availability to support the Libyans on their path to democracy. “ The EU is ready to help Libya build a constitutional state and develop the rule of law. It stands ready to respond to the demands of the Libyan people to help restart the Libyan economy ».

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).