Libya campaign 'over', NATO seeks other ways to help: France

26th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

France insisted Wednesday that NATO's campaign in Libya was over and said it was seeking other ways to help the country, after Libya's leader urged the alliance to continue operations until year's end.

"We are in a new phase," French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said after Libya's interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil called on NATO to continue its Libya campaign until the end of the year.

"The military engagement, which accomplished the objectives we were pursuing, is now over. Is there another way to accompany the NTC (new leaders) in this period, which is still a transitional period? We will look at this," he told journalists.

"We are studying this question with our partners and with the secretary general of the alliance," Juppe said.

Abdel Jalil, the head of the National Transitional Council, on Wednesday urged NATO to continue its Libya campaign, saying loyalists of slain despot Moamer Kadhafi still pose a threat to the country.

In the wake of Kadhafi'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.

Diplomats in Brussels 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.

© 2011 AFP

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