European Union to Release Libyan Assets to Aid Rebels

As the Battle for Tripoli rages on, the European Union has decided to unfreeze national assets in order to aid Libyan rebels in overthrowing leader Muammar Gaddafi.

In February 2011, the European Union instated various sanctions against the Gaddafi-run Libyan government, including a weapons embargo, assets freezing and a visa ban.

However, British Prime Minister David Cameron stated on Monday that Britain "soon will be able to release frozen assets that belong to the Libyan people."

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The European Union has also stated its support of the interim administration in future endeavors of establishing peace and reform in Libya.

EU spokesman Michael Mann has detailed that the Union must first evaluate the exact state of Libya to determine how the released assets will be allocated.

"The first thing we need to do is send a team in to appraise the needs of the authorities," he said. "The sort of thing we could offer ... is humanitarian assistance, support for democratization, help set up elections, institution-building and help with the economy."

Mann has ensured that assets will only be released to support the Libyan people and all sanctions against the Gaddafi regime will remain in effect, including assets of the government and of state-run firms remaining frozen.

Monday reports have detailed that conflicts have arisen near Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli and much of the city has been seized by rebels. World leaders are urging that Gaddafi turn himself in to the International Criminal Court.

"The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Muammar Gaddafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end," President Obama said Sunday.

"The time is up," Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Monday. "There is no alternative to surrendering and handing himself in to justice."

Libya citizens however, have already begun celebrating the impending fall of the Gaddafi regime. Celebrations have ensued from the streets of Tripoli, to Turkey, Malta and Denmark, which all have significant Libyan populations.

In Turkey, Libyans have congregated at the embassy, removing the Gaddafi regime's green flag and replaced it with the rebels' tricolor one.

"The celebrations we currently see in Libya, and not least in the streets of Tripoli, all point in one direction: the Libyan people's struggle for freedom has gone into the playoffs," said Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen of Denmark.

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