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Hungary recognizes the rebel council as the legitimate representative of Libya

The Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday its recognition of the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate representative of Libya.

“Hungary supports the council’s efforts to stabilise Libya’s internal situation and hopes that the NTC would restore order and security in the spirit of legality, and make all the required steps towards consolidation and reconstruction,” the ministry’s statement said as reported by MTI newswire.

From the beginning of the conflict, Hungary welcomed NATO strikes on Libyan targets. However, no direct military contributions were made. As Foreign Minister János Martonyi said in March this year, “I see no military capacity that we would be able to use.”

The Hungarian embassy has been the EU’s sole representation in Tripoli since January 1 of this year and executed a number of foreigners' evacuation operations. The ministry is now referring to it as "an outstanding diplomatic success."

However, there might have been another reason why Hungarian embassy kept its doors open despite the unrest. Hungarian construction company Vegyépszer Hungária, which in May submitted a request for bankruptcy protection, had multi-million ongoing projects in Libya, although it was forced to suspend a HUF 80 billion project to build infrastructure and public facilities in Libya.

Some companies, like UVATERV, have been operating in Libya since 1980s. In 1990 it won a $18 million enterprise. However, the bill was not paid in full by the government for 15 years. In 2007 it won a $11 million tender for the Benghazi subway system in 2007. The last installment of $1.1 million has yet to be paid.