Visiting Nato chief hails end of Libya mission
At one minute to midnight last night, Nato formally ended its mission in Libya, capping a seven-month intervention marred by accusations of "mission creep" and signs of deepening cracks within the alliance.
But as the Nato Secretary-General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, arrived in Tripoli yesterday, he insisted that the end of the mission marked the conclusion of a "successful chapter in Nato's history". "It's great to be in Libya – free Libya. We acted to protect you. Together we succeeded. Libya is finally free, from Benghazi to Brega, from Misrata to the Western Mountains and to Tripoli." At the same time, Libya's new leaders took another step toward a democratic system by choosing a new prime minister, US-educated electrical engineer Abdurrahim el-Keib, who replaces the departing Mahmoud Jibril.
Mr El-Keib, a National Transitional Council (NTC) member from Tripoli with a doctorate from North Carolina State University, said he would appoint an interim government within two weeks to pave the way for elections and the drafting of a new constitution.
In March, Libyan rebels had begged the West to help as Gaddafi loyalists stood poised to retake Benghazi, the eastern port town where the popular uprising against Gaddafi's brutal rule first took hold in February. By the middle of March, US, British and French warplanes were flying the first sorties in an aerial campaign that played a crucial role in ousting the dictator. By the end of March, Nato had formally assumed the lead role in the alliance. With the death of Gaddafi Nato said its mission was concluded. Nevertheless, the NTC asked Nato to stay on until the end of the year. The request was refused.
Yesterday, the NTC expressed its gratitude to Nato, a sentiment that appeared to be echoed in many parts of the war-torn country. "On behalf of the Libyan people, we express our appreciation and gratitude to the alliance, both the Nato alliance and Arab countries and friends. Thank you for that effort which achieved victory for us," said Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the chairman of the NTC.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Network Manager - Shepherd's Bush...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary supply teac...
£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Full time German Supply Teacher...