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Allied bid to free Libya assets

Britain and France are to press for a new United Nations Security Council resolution on Libya, in the wake of the historic visit to the country by David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy.

The motion - expected to be put to the vote later - would give the National Transitional Council access to more of the frozen Libyan assets and lift the no-fly zone.

But it could encounter trouble from Russia, which has complained that the UK and France went beyond the previous resolution 1973 in trying to eject former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Prime Minister Mr Cameron and President Sarkozy received a hero's welcome on Thursday as they visited the capital Tripoli, then addressed a jubilant crowd in Benghazi.

Less than four weeks after Gaddafi was deposed, the two architects of Nato air strikes against his regime flew in to demonstrate their support for the fledgling new government which has replaced him.

At a joint news conference in Tripoli, they pledged continued assistance to the country Mr Cameron called "free Libya", including stepping up efforts to unfreeze assets held overseas.

But the emotional climax of their visit came in Benghazi's Freedom Square, where they were given an ecstatic reception by a crowd waving British and French flags alongside the old Libya flag adopted by the anti-Gaddafi rebels.

To cheers of "Thank you Cameron", the Prime Minister told them that their city had been "an inspiration to the world" as they led the fight to throw off 42 years of dictatorship.

"You showed the world you would get rid of a dictator and choose freedom. Colonel Gaddafi said he would hunt you down like rats but you showed the courage of lions," he said.

"Your friends in Britain and in France will stand with you as you build your democracy and build your country for the future."


From Belfast Telegraph