Foreign Secretary William Hague will expel Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi’s Libyan diplomats to recognise the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate government.
On Monday, it appeared that Britain was softening its position on Libya, with Mr Hague suggesting that Gaddafi could stay in the country if he agreed to relinquish power.
However this move shows that Britain is still committed to breaking Gaddafi’s 42 year long reign.
At a press conference Mr Hague said:
“We are inviting the National Transitional Council to appoint a new Libyan diplomatic envoy to take over the Libyan embassy in London”
“This decision reflects the NTC’s increasing legitimacy, competence and success in reaching out to Libyans across the country.”
This follows similar moves made by the United States and France who recognise “countries not governments”
Libyan assets unfrozen
To help the opposition, Mr Hague will also unfreeze £91m of Libyan assets for civilian purposes.
He also said that more work would be done over the coming weeks to release more assets locked in the country.
After 5 months of fighting, Libyan rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces are still battling for control of Libya and a UN enforced no-fly zone is still in place over the country.