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PM: Nato's Libya battle goes on

David Cameron has warned the "struggle is not yet over" as he confirmed the Nato operation in Libya will continue for "as long as we are needed to protect civilian life".

Speaking at the Friends Of Libya summit in Paris, attended by 63 international delegations, the Prime Minister insisted it was the "Libyan people who had liberated Libya" but he was proud of the role British forces had played in events over the past five months.

Mr Cameron said the conference had agreed to continue with Nato operations, bring those guilty of war crimes to justice and to support the National Transitional Council to achieve political transition.

The leaders spoke after Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi issued a defiant warning to rebels that they faced a "long battle". In a broadcast on Syrian TV, the deposed despot apparently vowed his forces would fight "in every street, every village and every city".

He said: "Let it be a long battle. We will fight from place to place, from city to city, from mountain to mountain. Let it be a long battle so that we can show to them that they cannot rule the Libyan people, they cannot subjugate our tribes."

Mr Cameron, who chaired the summit with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, said: "Some people warned, as Gaddafi himself did, that the Libyan people could not be trusted with freedom, that without Gaddafi there would be chaos.

"Some people thought that chaos would start the moment the regime fell so what we are seeing emerging now in Libya, despite the years of repression and the trauma of recent days and months, is immensely impressive.

"Enormous difficulties lie ahead of course but the Libyans are showing the world their courage, their spirit and their resilience."

International leaders at the conference, held in the Elysee Palace, unanimously agreed the need to hand over frozen Libyan assets to the NTC.

The first batch of almost £1 billion of Libyan dinar banknotes, which were seized after being printed in the UK, have already been sent to Libya after the UN sanctions committee agreed to a request from the British Government.


From Belfast Telegraph