Libya has suspended all diplomatic relations with France, a Libyan foreign ministry official announced Friday, a day after French authorities officially recognised Libya's rebel council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.
AP – Moammar Gadhafi’s government in Libya suspended diplomatic ties with France on Friday after Paris officially recognized the opposition council battling to topple his regime.
Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Qaid told reporters in Tripoli that “Libya decided to suspend its ties with France,” and he accused the French government of seeking to divide Libya.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has defended Thursday’s promise to exchange ambassadors with the Interim Governing Council, an umbrella group of Gadhafi opponents based in the eastern city of Benghazi. His decision miffed some European leaders because it came on the eve of a European Union summit intended to decide on a common strategy.
Delegates at the summit also politically supported Libya’s opposition council. But they stopped short of giving it full diplomatic recognition.
In Tripoli, Qaid said: “The intentions and the interest of the French government is only to divide Libya. This is clear.”
He asserted that 85 percent of the country was under government control.
“As for what Sarkozy said, the support and the rallies of hundreds of thousands of Libyans (in support of Gadhafi) all around the country is like a referendum on the legitimacy of the regime,” Qaid said. “The question of who is legitimate and who is illegitimate has been answered by the street, not by Sarkozy.”