Belfast Telegraph

Gilmore urges Gaddafi to end battle

Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore has called for Muammar Gaddafi to leave Libya without further violence after rebel forces tightened their grip on Tripoli.

Mr Gilmore said he welcomed the apparent end to the dictator's 42-year rule and again stated that Gaddafi had no role in the country's future government.

The minister said his officials had remained in close contact with Irish families in Libya and had arranged for possible evacuations. All are safe, he said.

"Yesterday I watched the hope and emotion as the pace of events quickened and the rebels surged towards and entered Tripoli, and the population celebrated what looks like the end of the dictatorship which has ruled Libya for 42 years," Mr Gilmore said.

"In the end the forces of the dictator, which had no real popular support, seem to have withered away.

"The fighting is probably not yet over, but we can hope now that the Libyan revolution can be brought quickly to a successful end with the minimum of bloodshed."

The Labour leader said the Libyan National Transitional Council was the only authority in the country and said he hoped they would be able to establish an effective government.

"I have met their representatives, and was impressed by their vision of an inclusive and democratic future for all Libyans, and the thought-out plans they had for achieving it," the minister said.

"The international community will look to them to respect human rights and the rule of law, including in respect of prisoners, and to restore peace and stability."

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