ISTANBUL, Turkey, July 15 (UPI) -- The United States considers the Benghazi-based rebels Libya's legitimate authority, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Friday.
Clinton made the statement at a meeting of the international contact group for Libya in Istanbul, Turkey, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said his government would promptly release 100 million euros ($141.4 million) in credit to the National Transitional Council from Libyan assets frozen under U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said France was unfreezing $250 million in Libyan assets, and Turkey already has promised $300 million.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu opened the meeting by calling on the assembled nations "to consider opening credit lines to the National Transitional Council amounting to a certain percentage of the frozen funds."