Gadhafi insider defects

The Associated Press reports:

Another member of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s regime has defected and fled the country, two Libyan analysts in London said Monday, as fighting continued between government troops and rebel forces.

Sassi Garada, one of the first men to join Gadhafi when he took power more than 40 years ago, left Libya through Tunisia, according to Noman Benotman, a Libyan analyst in London who was in contact with his friends and family. Guma el-Gamaty, U.K. organizer for Libya’s interim council, also confirmed the defection.

There were initial reports that Garada fled to Britain, where he has several family members, but Benotman said Garada was in Switzerland.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports:

Germany, which declined to participate in the NATO air campaign against Libya, on Monday recognized the opposition National Transitional Council as the legitimate representative of Libya, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said during a visit to the rebel capital of Benghazi.

The announcement by Mr. Westerwelle comes after weeks of hesitation by Germany over which rebel leaders or movements, if any, it would recognize as an alternative to the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

“The Transitional Council is the legitimate representation of the Libyan people,” Mr. Westerwelle said after arriving in Benghazi. “With this council, we want to support the building of a democratic and law-abiding Libya.”

Germany will open a small mission in Benghazi, joining the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, Britain, France, Spain, Malta and Qatar, which have established a presence there in the past several weeks. Washington, however, has not extended diplomatic recognition to the council.

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