Finland accepts rebels as representatives of Libyan people, but NTC not recognised as country’s legal government
Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja (SDP) says that Finland currently considers Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) as a legitimate representative of the Libyan people. The announcement means that Finland will be in contact with the council if necessary.
However, Finland is not yet recognising the rebel council as Libya’s legal government, as many other countries have done.
Tuomioja said that the reason for this is Finland’s practice of recognising only states, and not governments. He said that in this respect, Finland largely follows the same lines as Sweden.
Leading Western powers, including the United States and the UK, recognised the NTC as the legitimate rulers of Libya.
The move was a significant boost for the rebels, who have tried to overthrow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who has run Libya for more than 40 years.
France and the UK have suggested that Gaddafi, who faces an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, might be allowed to stay in Libya if he relinquishes power.
Fighting between the rebels and forces loyal to Gaddafi broke out in February this year.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Martti Ahtisaari praises Finland´s decisions on Libya (5.4.2011)
President Halonen: Use of EU Rapid Reaction Force in Libya could be considered (6.4.2011)
Finland not taking part in monitoring Libya no-fly zone (30.3.2011)
NATO confirms interest in Finnish view on Libya operation (21.3.2011)
Gallup: Few Finns are willing to send Hornets to Libya (8.4.2011)