Canada yesterday became the seventh state to recognize the National Transitional Council of Libya as the country’s official government. The Council represents one of the main armed opposition forces to Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi.
Canada’s House of Commons voted almost unanimously to extend the country’s presence in Libya until September. Promises to recognize the Council and to increase humanitarian aid helped win support for the measure.
However, the New Democratic Party offered its support tepidly, threatening not to support any additional extension requests and encouraging Canada to prosecute rape as a weapon of war in Libya more actively while avoiding the use of troops on the ground.
France, Germany, Qatar, Spain, Italy and the United Arab Emirates had already recognized the Council. Recognition by other states is generally considered a definitional component of sovereign statehood.