7 May 2011

Foreign funds to be sent to Libyan opposition

5:43 am on 7 May 2011

An international contact group on Libya has agreed to the creation of a temporary fund to channel financial assistance to the Libyan opposition.

French foreign minister, Alain Juppe, says the fund should be operational within weeks, the BBC reports.

The group comprises NATO countries, Arab states and other nations.

Qatari has pledged $US400 million to $US500 million and Kuwait promised $US180 million.

However, others were more cautious about putting a figure on how much they might provide.

The Transitional National Council in Benghazi says it needs $US2 billion to $US3 billion in the coming months for military salaries, food, medicine and other basic supplies.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has insisted that any financial assistance to the rebels would not be spent on weapons.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States was trying to free more than $US30 billion it has frozen in Libyan assets.