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Africa

Kadhafi death means Nato Libya operation can end, says France

media Kadhafi's corpse on Al Jazeera TV

Nato's task in Libya is over after Moamer Kadhafi's death, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said Friday. Big power leaders, including President Nicolas Sarkozy, claimed the news was a step forward towards democracy in the country.

"I think we can say that the military operation is finished, that the whole of Libyan territory is under the control of the National Transitional Council (NTC) and that, subject to a few transitory measures in the week to come, the Nato operation has arrived at its end," Juppé told Europe 1 radio from India.

THE BATTLE FOR LIBYA

The operation's aim was to support the anti-Kadhafi NTC "in the liberation of their territory" and not to kill the former leader, he said, adding that the hope was that the new rulers would "capture and judge him".

A French aircraft helped Kadhafi's capture, which ended in his death "in crossfire" according to the NTC, by firing a warning shot at a convoy of vehicles to stop him escaping from his last hold-out in Sirte.

President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday hailed Kadhafi's death as "a major step forward" for Libya and urged the country's new regime to pursue democratic reforms.

Nato's Supreme Allied Commander, Admiral James Stavridis, is due to issue a recommendation, "probably (Friday), for the end of the operation" in Libya, a Nato official said earlier.

Other reactions to Kadhafi's death included:

  • US President Barack Obama: "This is a momentous day in the history of Libya, the dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted."
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron: It is a chance for Libya to have a "democratic future", paying tribute to his alleged victims including those who died in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.
  • US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking in Islambad: It is "the start of a new era for the Libyan people".
  • China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu: "We hope Libya will be able to start an inclusive political transition process as soon as possible to safeguard ethnic and national unity and achieve social stability."
  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: "They assassinated him. It is another
    outrage. We shall remember Kadhafi our whole lives as a great fighter, a
    revolutionary and a martyr."
  • Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast: "There is no longer any pretext for foreign military intervention in Libya and it is vital that foreign forces withdraw immediately to allow the Libyan people to determine its own future."

 

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