Cameron offers commitments to a free Libya

Sept. 15, 2011 at 1:43 PM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- With Libya expected to retake its seat at the United Nations next week, European leaders said Thursday from Tripoli that all of Libya was now free.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived Thursday in Tripoli to meet members of the ruling Transitional National Council. Their visit marks the first for Western leaders since the regime of Moammar Gadhafi fell in late August.

Cameron, during talks with TNC leaders, said British forces would remain deployed in Libya for six months to serve in an advisory capacity. A new resolution at the U.N. Security Council would provide a mechanism for international assistance to Libya, including the unfreezing of assets.

"We want to help you diplomatically, militarily, economically and with your development," said Cameron. "We are your friends but this is your country, your leadership, your plan."

Members of the international community slowly lined up behind the TNC as rebel fighters began the march on Tripoli in August. Gadhafi, now on the run, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes committed since February.

Jeffrey Feltman, U.S. assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, said following his tour of Tripoli this week that life was returning to normal in the Libyan capital. Feltman stressed, however, that there was a need to turn TNC pledges on human rights "into real action on the ground.

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