UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations General Assembly Friday approved Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate holder of the country's UN seat, at 114 to 17.
The 193-member assembly voted to let NTC representatives take over Libya's UN mission despite oppositions from some Latin American and African countries which did not want the seat to be occupied by a "faction or illegitimate transitory authority imposed by foreign intervention."
Libyan transitional government given UN seat
The move means NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil will be able to attend next week's UN gathering of world leaders in New York. He is scheduled to meet with US President Barack Obama and other leaders on the sidelines of the general debate of the UN General Assembly.
Egypt's UN Ambassador Maged Abdel Fattah Abdelaziz said his country trusted the "ability of the National Transitional Council to represent the Libyan people properly in the General Assembly and in other international fora."
"The National Transitional Council has made all of the necessary commitments to the African Union, to the Arab League and to the Untied Nations," said the ambassador.
"We are not convinced that there is any other legitimate option that could be considered in meetings of the African Union or the Arab League or the United Nations rather than allowing the National Transitional Council of Libya to occupy the seat," he said, opposing the attempt by some African countries to delay the vote.
Some 90 countries, including a number of African countries, now recognize the NTC, but the African Union has so far refused to do so and sticks to its "roadmap" for Libya, which calls for an inclusive government in the country.
A representative from Equatorial Guinea, who is currently acting president of the African Union, told the general assembly that the African Union has always supported the rights of the Libyan people and has never said that it is not going to recognize the NTC.
"But it has requested that a government be formed, after which they would have their seat in the African Union and then we would support and recognize it. This has not been the case thus far," said the diplomat, adding that General Assembly decision "shows once again that there is a lack of harmonization and coordination between the African Union and the United Nations."