Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov (left) talks with his Croatian counterpart Gordan Jandrokovic
Bulgaria and Croatia have officially recognised the Transitional National Council as legitimate representatives of the Libyan people, Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry said in a media statement on June 28 2011.
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov paid a one-day visit on June 28 to the city of Benghazi in Libya. In a joint statement, Mladenov and his Croatian counterpart Gordan Jandrokovic said that the people of Libya had been fighting for freedom for more than three months but their legitimate demands had been met with force by Muammar Gaddafi.
"Brutally assaulting his own people, Colonel Gaddafi has irreversibly lost all claims to legitimacy," the statement said.
"As Nato allies, Bulgaria and Croatia support irrefutably the international coalition and its mission in Libya."
Bulgaria supported United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, adopted on March 17 2011 after being proposed by the United Kingdom, France, and Lebanon.
The resolution provided the basis for military intervention in the Libyan civil war, demanding "an immediate ceasefire" and authorising the international community to establish a no-fly zone and to use all means necessary short of foreign occupation to protect civilians.
Bulgaria has since participated in the conflict by sending the frigate Druzki.
Benghazi has become the capital of Gaddafi's opposition.
The Transitional National Council, formed in Benghazi on February 27 2011, has announced itself as Libya's alternative government. Its intended purpose was to act as the "political face of the revolution".
On March 5 2011, the council issued a statement in which it declared itself to be the "sole representative of all Libya".