Senegal's president says Libya's rebel movement has permission to open a diplomatic office in the West African country.

A statement released by President Abdoulaye Wade's office Saturday said that the president recognized the National Transitional Council as the legitimate representatives for the Libyan people and permitted them to open a representative office in Senegal's capital, Dakar. Wade met with a delegation for the group on Friday in Paris.

Wade on May 20 had already recognized the group as the legitimate political opposition, a move that surprised many observers. Wade is known to be close to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and has received him in Dakar many times.