NATO chief seals military operation in Libya

Updated: 2011-11-01 10:00


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TRIPOLI - Visiting NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen met here Monday with the head of Libya's ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) Mustafa Abdel Jalil, announcing the seal of its mission in Libya.

"Your courage has transformed the country and the region, and I am proud of the role that NATO has played during the process," the NATO chief said, adding that "it's indeed a great honor to visit Libya, a new and free one".

"We have successfully saved countless lives in Libya and fulfilled the tasks given by the United Nations. Now it's the time to end our mission here," Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen announced last Friday that the North Atlantic Council, NATO's decision-making body, formalized a preliminary decision reached one week ago to end Monday its mission in Libya.

The decision came one day after the UN Security Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution that will terminate on Oct 31 the no-fly zone, naval blockade and civilian protection mandates adopted earlier this year for Libya.

Meanwhile, Rasmussen noticed that it is not an easy task to build a new Libya, saying "if you request the help that we can give, we will give you".

On his part, Jalil hailed the important role that NATO played in toppling former Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.

He expressed thanks, on behalf of the Libyan people, to Rasmussen for contributions NATO has made to protecting Libyan people under the accreditation of the UN Security Council.

Jalil last Wednesday urged NATO to extend its seven-month mission in Libya till the end of 2011 when addressing an international conference on Libya in the Qatari capital of Doha, the first since the death of Gadhafi.