'New era' for Libya after UN mandate ends: Britain
The UN Security Council decision to end the mandate for international military action in Libya shows the country has entered a "new era", British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Thursday.
Hague warned however that after the controversial killing of ousted Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi by interim regime forces last week it was "vital" for Libya's new rulers to respect human rights.
"UN Security Council Resolution 2016 agreed today is another significant milestone towards a peaceful, democratic future for Libya," Hague said in a statement.
"Ending the no-fly zone and the civilian protection provisions demonstrates that Libya has entered a new era."
The Security Council resolution to end the authorization for a no-fly zone and action to protect civilians from 11:59 pm Libyan time (2159 GMT) on October 31 was approved unanimously.
Britain led efforts to secure the original resolution for the no-fly zone and along with France and the United States led NATO efforts in support of anti-Kadhafi forces.
In the wake of Kadhafi's death, Hague said Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) has "a duty to uphold human rights and must prevent reprisals and revenge attacks".
Hague, who visited Tripoli last week for talks with the NTC, added: "We now look forward to the creation of an inclusive, representative transitional Government in Libya and to a new era in UK-Libya relations.
"Libya has a historic opportunity to create a state where human rights are protected and all people enjoy fundamental freedoms. This would be a fitting tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for future generations."
© 2011 AFP