Foreign Secretary William Hague has updated Parliament following the visit of the Chairman of the Libyan National Council
In a written statement to Parliament the Foreign Secretary said:
“The Chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) in Libya, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, visited London on Thursday 12 May. Mr Abdul Jalil met the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State for International Development, the Shadow Foreign Secretary and me.
In line with our assessment of the NTC as the legitimate interlocutor in Libya representing the aspirations of the Libyan people, the Government has invited the NTC to establish an office in the UK. This will enhance our existing relationship with the NTC, and better enable us to fulfil our commitment to protect civilians under threat of attack from the Qadhafi regime. It will help us to work more closely together on sharing information and formulating our policy towards Libya. This arrangement does not affect our position on the legal status of the NTC: the British Government will continue to recognise States, not Governments. The UK will also strengthen its presence in Eastern Libya when our new Permanent Head of Office in Benghazi John Jenkins arrives in the near future.
In parallel to this, the UK will be a key contributor to the deployment of a multi-national team of experts to Benghazi. With the UN still unable to deploy, this team will conduct a stabilisation assessment, and advise and assist the NTC on meeting their longer-term needs. I also intend to provide further practical and material support to the NTC in the form of further communications equipment, bullet proof vests and uniforms for the civilian police authorities. I also intend to provide support for the NTC’s fledging media and broadcasting operations.
As with all the material and advisory support we are providing to the NTC, this support is within the terms of UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973 on Libya. This support has been requested by the NTC and will help them ensure that they administer territory under their control to international standards and to protect the aspirations of the Libyan people.
Her Majesty’s Government remains resolutely committed to implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on Libya and to supporting the Libyan people in determining their own future.”