They are starting to celebrate in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi as the news of the decisions taken at the meeting of the Libya International Contact Group earlier today in Doha, Qatar began to filter in. They see most of the decisions taken are supportive of their struggle to overthrow the 42 year old regime of Mummar Gaddafi and they expect that soon many more nations will join France and Qatar in recognizing the Transitional National Council as the sole legitimate government of Libya.
At the end of the one day summit, the group issued a statement calling for Gaddafi to step down. "Gaddafi and his regime has lost all legitimacy and he must leave power allowing the Libyan people to determine their own future," it said. The meeting which was hosted by Qatar and chaired by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and the Qatari prime minister, Hamed bin Jassem included representatives of NATO countries, Middle East and African countries and a number of international organizations. Ban ki Moon represented the United Nations. At this meeting were representatives of the Transitional National Council that has emerged as the leadership of the Libyan rebels. For many in the contact group it was their first opportunity to meet with the rebel leadership. Also in Qatar, ahead of the talks was Moussa Koussa, Libya's former foreign minister who became the most prominent member of Gaddafi's regime to deflect when he fled to London last month. Just how he got to Doha and what he was doing there remains something of a mystery. He had no formal role in the summit and the opposition Transitional Nation Council said they had no connection to him but he was reported to be having some meetings outside the summit.