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Clinton: US will recognize top Libyan rebel group as country’s government

The United States will formally recognize the top opposition group in Libya as that nations government, a move that should give an economic and diplomatic boost to the rebels.

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The announcement that Washington sees the Transitional National Council as Libyas official government was made during an international conference in Istanbul by Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE, according to The Associated Press.

Council leaders have lobbied U.S., European and regional leaders to formally call their group Libyas legitimate government so tens of billions in Moammar Gadhafi funds could be funneled to the council. Those funds could then be used to boost its efforts to drive the embattled Libyan leader from power.

The AP reported that the U.S. recognition could allow Washington to transfer as much as $30 billion in Gadhafi funds.