Today France became the first country to officially recognize Libya's rebels — under the Libyan National Council — as the legitimate government in the country. A rep for President Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters: "France recognises the National Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people. There will be an exchange of ambassadors between Paris and Benghazi."

It's an important (and largely symbolic) gesture. And also well-timed, especially after France's foreign minister was forced to resign after offering to help Tunisia's former president suppress civilian protesters late last year.

[Image via AP]