NATO must step up pressure on Kadhafi: Spain

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NATO allies must turn up the pressure on Libyan leader Moammar Kadhafi if he is to finally give up power, Spain's Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said Thursday.

"We have the impression that we are closer to the end because we have stepped up military, political and economic pressure," she told Spain's Cadena Ser radio. "The Kadhafi regime is more isolated every day."

But "we have to intensify the pressure ... to convince Kadhafi to give up power," she said, speaking by telephone by Abu Dhabi where the contact group on Libya is meeting.

Jimenez on Wednesday held talks in Benghazi with Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the head of the rebels' National Transitional Council and then declared the NTC as the "sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people."

The NTC "is working responsibly" and maintaining a "very constructive attitude," she told Cadena Ser.

Two dozen countries, including key NATO allies Britain, France and Italy, as well as delegates from the United Nations, the Arab League, and the Organisation of Islamic Conference were due to attend the talks in Abu Dhabi.

As the military, political and economic pressure mounts on Kadhafi to step down, the group will discuss "what a post-Kadhafi Libya ought to look like," a senior US official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

© 2011 AFP

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