The recognition of the Transitional National Council as the legitimate government of Libya by the United States will unfreeze desperately needed funds for the rebel cause, said a Patton Boggs attorney working for the council.
David Tafuri, a partner in the firm’s Washington office, spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday meeting with council leaders in Benghazi to discuss the U.S. efforts to thaw out Moammar Gadhafi’s previously frozen assets. Now the U.S. Treasury Department will have to channel part of the funds to the council while ensuring that none of the money ends up in Gadhafi’s coffers.
“We knew from recent discussion with the State Department that it was moving closer toward recognition and that it felt that the case for recognition had become stronger, but we did not know it was going to happen today,” Tafuri said. “We are incredibly pleased to have helped the client achieve this success.”
The National Law Journal reported last week that in May, the council signed a renewable monthly contract with Patton Boggs, which is providing legal advice to the council. In the mean time, the council has to afford essential services like running water and electricity for the Libyan people, all while operating an interim government and fighting a war.
“They are working under very stressful circumstances,” Tafuri said of the leadership. “Overall there is a fantastic spirit in the eastern side of Libya and Benghazi in particular. They are very pro-American, pro-Western.”