NATO sees 'leading UN role' in future Libya

5th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

NATO would like to see the United Nations assume the leading role in Libya's transition to democracy once Moamer Kadhafi leaves power, alliance chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday.

His comments came the same day a Moscow daily quoted a senior Russian official as saying that the Libyan leader was now willing to cede power in exchange for specific security guarantees.

Rasmussen said one day after meeting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that "to accommodate the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people, it is necessary that Kadhafi leaves power.

"After that, it is necessary to ensure a transition to democracy. I would like to stress that we do not foresee a leading NATO role in a post-Kadhafi period," he told reporters in Russia's second city.

"We want the United Nations to take the lead in this effort, to assist the Libyan people in their transition to democracy," Rasmussen said.

His comments came as the Libyan rebels prepared for a push into territories around Kadhafi's stronghold capital Tripoli.

A top official for the rebels' National Transitional Council said on Monday that the opposition had rejected a brief offer for Kadhafi to step down and remain in internal exile in Libya.

A top Russian official told the respected Kommersant business daily that he was also aware of such a proposal being made.

The unnamed Russian official went on to add that Kadhafi was now willing to cede power on certain terms.

"The colonel is sending signals that he is ready to cede power in exchange for security guarantees," Kommersant daily quoted the unnamed Russian official as saying.

The Russian source added that France appeared the country most willing to play a part by unfreezing some of the Kadhafi family's accounts and promising to help him avoid trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The official did not reveal the source of his information.

© 2011 AFP

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