World powers agree to fund Libyan opposition
dw-world (AFP, Reuters) / Holly Fox, Chuck Penfold, Mark Hallam

The international community on Thursday agreed to create a special
fund to allow it to help finance to Libya's rebel Transitional National
Council (TNC).

The fund will tap frozen assets belonging to Moammar Gadhafi's
regime, although French Defense Minister Alain Juppe acknowledged that
there are still unresolved legal issues surrounding this plan.
Therefore, donations and loans from the international community will
initially sustain the fund, with frozen Gadhafi assets slated to
eventually replace these contributions.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said at a meeting in Rome, 
co-chaired by Italy and Qatar, that some 170 million euros ($250
million) were already available. This figure that falls far short of the
two to three billion dollars that the rebels say they desperately need.

"I welcome the announcement of the establishment of a special fund
known as the Temporary Financial Mechanism, that will permit funds to be
channelled effectively and transparently" to the rebels, Frattini said.

France and Italy to co-chair fund

The French and Italian governments will take turns managing the fund,
after these two countries spearheaded efforts to convince the European
Union to approve the plan.

According to media reports, the EU and US have frozen as much as 40 billion euros in Gadhafi assets.

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