Egypt on Monday recognised Libya's rebel National Transitional Council as the legitimate government as rebels closed in on Muammar Gaddafi's Tripoli compound, Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr said.
"It pleases me at this historical occasion to announce that Egypt recognises the new regime in Libya and the National Transitional Council that represents it," he said at a joint news conference with Abdel Moneim al-Huweini, the rebel envoy to Cairo and the Arab League.
Egypt, Libya's eastern neighbour, has held back so far on recognising the rebels, who started their uprising days after an Egyptian revolt ended president Hosni Mubarak's three decade rule.
Amr said his government would hand over the office of Libya's Arab League representative and the Cairo embassy to Huweini.
His announcement came hours after the Arab League expressed its full solidarity with the rebel government but stopped short of recognising the NTC, which is led by Mustafa Abdel Jalil, Gaddafi's former justice minister. -AFP