Libya wants Nato to stay longer

Posted on October 27, 2011

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Libya’s interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil yesterday urged Nato to continue its Libya campaign until year’s end, saying loyalists of slain despot Muammar Gaddafi still pose a threat to the country.

Abdel Jalil’s comments, made at a Doha conference of military allies of his National Transitional Council (NTC), came a day after Gaddafi’s body was buried in secret under cover of darkness after being displayed in public for four days.

This request is aimed at “ensuring that no arms are infiltrated into those countries and to ensure the security of Libyans from some remnants of Gaddafi’s forces who have fled to nearby countries,” he added.

The NTC is also seeking help from Nato in “developing Libya’s defence and security systems,” Abdel Jalil told the conference.

In Brussels, diplomats said Nato had decided to delay a formal decision to end Libyan air operations until Friday after the NTC’s request for an extension and a Russian demand for UN consultations.

In the wake of Gaddafi’s capture and death last week, Nato’s decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council (NAC), had been expected to agree formally on Wednesday to set October 31 as the date to end the seven-month-old air war.

Meanwhile, the United Nations urged Libya’s new rulers to respect the rights of all detainees, amid raging controversy over the circumstances of the death of Gaddafi.

According to Libya’s interim premier Mahmud Jibril, an autopsy report showed Gaddafi was killed in “crossfire from both sides.”

The former strongman was buried overnight Monday in a religious ceremony, along with another of his sons, Mutassim, and former defence minister Abu Bakr Yunis Jaber.

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Posted in: World