Libya "Contact Group" To Set Up Trust Fund For Rebels
One of the biggest issues facing the rebels has been money. Without sufficient funds, they cannot properly arm their fighters and keep Benghazi operating.
"Statements from the UK and Qatar have agreed that the situation in Benghazi is urgent," said an Al Jazeera correspondent. "And most is due to a lack of cash - it's not all about heavy weapons for frontline fighters; it's also about being able to pay public servants and getting schools back open."
Some critics of the fund, which would allow international supporters to donate money to the fighters, say it's illegal. But group members have countered that allegation, arguing that the United Nations does not prohibit such actions.
"The UN resolutions do allow for the provision of weapons," said William Hague, British foreign secretary. "But we are making our contribution through our own military, as well as providing non-lethal support, such as communications equipment."
The group also said that Muammar Gaddafi must step down.
"Gaddafi and his regime has lost all legitimacy and he must leave power allowing the Libyan people to determine their own future," the group said.
The summit in Qatar marked the first diplomatic appearance of the "contact group," which was formed on March 29 at an international minesterial conference in London.
The BBC reports:
Reading the final statement, Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani said the contact group wanted "an immediate end to all attacks against civilians, and for Gaddafi and his regime to pull back all regime forces from Libyan cities they have forcibly entered, occupied or besieged".
He added: "Gaddafi and his regime should comply with their obligations under international law, international humanitarian law, human rights and refugee law including protecting civilians and meeting their basic needs".
Contact group members, he said, "were united in believing that Gaddafi's continued presence would threaten any resolution of the crisis.
Watch video from the summit below: