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A bulldozer has destroyed the house of Gaddafi inside the Bab al-Aziziya compound [EPA]

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Libya - Aug 23, 2011 - 16:07

Last modified: 23 Aug 2011 13:07

The Maltese government has officially recognised the National Transitional Council as the legitimate government of the Libyan people, Lawrence Gonzi, Malta's prime minister, announced on Tuesday.

"Malta will continue to play its role as a centre for humanitarian aid to go to Libya and is committed towards assisting the international community in evacuating expats from the troubled areas," Gonzi said after a cabinet meeting.

He also expressed hope that a "quick and peaceful solution" is found to the ongoing trouble in the North African country."
Gonzi, who cut short a private holiday in Prague by a week to attend a cabinet meeting to discuss the situation in Libya, said the Maltese government was closely collaborating with the European Union on the situation.

He said there was a high probability that a number of expats would be evacuated from Tripoli in the coming days.

The decision came a day after Gonzi called council leader Mahmoud Jibril expressing Malta's full support for Libyan opposition fighters.

Gonzi said the Maltese government was renewing its appeal for Muammar Gaddafi to step down and stop the bloodshed.

He said that a ship chartered by the Maltese government to evacuate workers and give humanitarian aid was still unable to berth in Tripoli because of security concerns.

Discussions are under way with the EU on the possibility of a larger ship to be chartered to evacuate people from Tripoli, he added.   -   AFP