Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said today that Malta has recognised the  National Transitional Council as the legitimate government of Libya.

Speaking at a press conference after an emergency Cabinet meeting, Dr Gonzi said the Maltese government was renewing its appeal for Col Gaddafi to leave and stop the bloodshed.

He said the Cabinet reiterated its support to the Libyan people and Malta would continue to work within the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to Libya.

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

Talks are being held with EU officials on the possibility of providing a bigger ship in view of the need to evacuate foreign nationals. There are some 11 Maltese who have asked for evacuation.

Asked whether Malta still recognised the current Libyan ambassador, Dr Gonzi said the ambassador represented the Libyan government and was recognised as such unless the TNC decided otherwise.

He said the government was in favour of releasing frozen Libyan government assets to the Libyan council, but that would only happen when international sanctions were lifted.

Dr Gonzi said there have been no recent contacts with the Gaddafi camp.

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