Libya Opposition Rep Responds to Obama Middle East Speech

ABC News' Sarah Burke reports: Moments after attending President Obama’s speech on the Middle East and North Africa at the State Department today the former Libyan Ambassador to the US, Ali Suleiman Aujali, gave a speech of his own on an elusive topic: What is next for Libya?

Aujali resigned as Libyan Leader Col Moammar Gaddhafi’s Ambassador to the US in February, quickly becoming instead the US representative for the Libyan rebels, who have been battling Gaddhafi forces with mixed success, since February.

Speaking today at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in DC , Mr Aujali reiterated his call for the US to recognize his group, the Transitional National Council, as the new official government of Libya. Recognition by the United States, said Mr Aujali, “would give us the credibility to deal with the international community.”

But in today’s much anticipated speech on the Middle East, President Obama would only go so far as to state that the Libyan “opposition has organized a legitimate and credible interim council.”

In addition to official recognition, the Transitional Council seeks access to Gaddhafi’s frozen assets currently being held in the US, worth about $34 billion.

But President Obama avoided making any commitment to the Libyan opposition in his speech today, stressing instead the need to “build networks of entrepreneurs, and expand exchanges in education.”

Despite the difficulties that lie ahead for the Libyan opposition, Aujali seemed nevertheless heartened by its successes. “For the first time in 42 years,” he said with tears in his eyes, “Libyans – myself included – can be proud of our country.”

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...