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Libya "rehabilitates" royal family overthrown by Gaddafi - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a press conference on January 22, 2014 in the capital Tripoli. Zeidan vowed on January 21 to stay at his post, as Islamist ministers quit in protest at persistent lawlessness that saw him briefly abducted last year. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD TURKIA

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a press conference on January 22, 2014, in the capital, Tripoli. (AFP Photo/Mahmud Turkia)

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Libyan Transitional Government announced on Wednesday its decision to officially “rehabilitate” the family of Libya’s last monarch, the late King Idris Al-Senussi.

King Idris died in exile in Cairo in 1983 after being overthrown in a military coup led by Muammar Gaddafi in 1969. Gaddafi ruled Libya for four decades before being toppled by a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.

The Libyan government’s decree restores the citizenship of Senussi’s relatives and paves the way for the return of his confiscated property to his family.

The decision comes after Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan submitted a draft law to the General National Congress one month ago repealing the Gaddafi-era law that officially exiled the royal family.

Following his exile, King Idris sought refuge in Cairo, where he lived until his death in 1983. The remaining members of the Senussi family obtained political exile status in the United Kingdom, including Idris’s grand-nephew and heir apparent, Mohammad Al-Senussi.

Asharq Al-Awsat spoke to Mohammad Al-Senussi in 2011 during the initial throes of the Libyan revolution. Senussi, who is the self-proclaimed Libyan crown prince, expressed satisfaction at the Libyan revolution’s use of the country’s monarchy-era flag.

He said: “The flag being raised by the youth inside and outside of Libya is the banner of freedom. This gesture gladdened everyone and filled my heart with joy, because this is the flag upon which Libya was first established. Today, Libya has been reunited with this flag and it has become the symbol of the youth’s uprising.”