Libya asks NATO to stay past end of year

Oct. 26, 2011 at 11:53 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- The interim leadership in Libya Wednesday urged NATO to maintain its mission in the country until at least the end of the year.

Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, said Wednesday the alliance's presence would help deter people loyal to slain ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi from reorganizing and threatening security, Voice of America reported.

Jalil appealed to NATO while in Qatar for the first international planning conference for Libya since Gadhafi's death last week.

In Brussels, meanwhile, NATO ministers said they will postpone until Friday any formal decision about ending the alliance's seven-month air campaign over Libya to allow time for more consultations with the interim leadership.

Last week, NATO announced a preliminary decision to end the mission Monday.

Gadhafi was buried Tuesday in a secret desert location. He was shot and killed Thursday as NTC forces stormed his hometown of Sirte.

The NTC has been under international pressure to examine the circumstances of Gadhafi's death and said it named a committee to investigate.

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