Entries in Mahmoud Jibril (2)


Beijing Hosts Libyan Opposition Leader

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(BEIJING) -- The leader of Libya's opposition, Mahmoud Jibril, has arrived in Beijing for talks.

At a news conference, a foreign ministry spokesman announced that Jibril would meet with the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who met with Col. Moammar Gadhafi's foreign minister just this month. The spokesman called the opposition "an important political power in Libya."

It's a significant shift in policy for a country that abstained in the UN Security Council vote for military action against Libya and that has been vocal in its criticism of NATO air strikes. While China purports to have a strict policy of "non-interference" where other countries' affairs are concerned, it clearly wants to bring about an end to the crisis in Libya, where it has major oil interests, and where 30,000 of its people were working up until the conflict began.

The Chinese government has not called for Gadhafi to resign nor has it given outright support to the opposition. But this meeting will likely come as a blow to Gadhafi.

It appears that the Chinese are hedging their bets, no longer sure who will come out on top in this conflict and keen to make sure that the oil keeps flowing either way.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Libyan Opposition Leader Says Rebels in Dire Need of Funds, Asks US for Help

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Libyan rebels will run out of funds in four to five weeks unless they are granted access to some of Gadhafi’s frozen funds, the leader of the opposition movement warned in a speech at Brookings Thursday.
Mahmoud Jibril, the interim Prime Minister of the Transitional National Council, said the Council is in an “acute financial crisis” and needs access to about $3 billion of the nearly $34 billion of Gadhafi’s money in the coming months. The administration, however, is looking to give them access to only $150-180 million.
Jibril also expressed some frustration that the Obama administration has yet to formally recognize the opposition, saying that has hurt their ability to seek access to frozen funds.
Jibril is making his first trip to Washington, during which he is meeting with senior administration officials and lawmakers, urging them to step up support for the opposition. He was originally slated to visit D.C. last month, but had to postpone after his commercial flight from Doha was canceled. He’s met with Secretary Clinton three times, most recently during international meetings on Libya in Rome.
Despite the skepticism within the administration, Jibril has found some support on Capitol Hill. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., told reporters after their meeting Wednesday that he would draft legislation to grant the opposition access to some of Gadhafi’s funds. Thursday morning, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he was very impressed after his meeting with Jibril.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio