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PM: World better without Gaddafi

Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is a "monster" and the world will be better off without him, David Cameron has said.

The Prime Minister, speaking after co-hosting a major international summit to build support for the fledgling rebel administration, was optimistic about the prospects of a peaceful transition of power.

Mr Cameron said intervention to support the revolution was justified and in the UK's national interest.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Gaddafi was a monster. He was responsible for appalling crimes, including crimes in this country and I think the world will be much better off without him."

Mr Cameron said the UK had played a significant military role in the Nato-led operation to protect Libyan civilians from Gaddafi's forces as he gave a trenchant defence of the intervention.

He said: "A lot of armchair generals who said you couldn't do it without an aircraft carrier, they were wrong. A lot of people who said Tripoli is completely different to Benghazi, the two don't get on, they were wrong. People who said this is all going to be an enormous swamp of Islamists and extremists, they were wrong. People who said we were going to run out of munitions, they were wrong."

He added: "We should be proud of what our forces did."

Lessons had been learned from the disastrous aftermath of the Iraq war, Mr Cameron said, and it was important that Libyans had ousted Gaddafi themselves rather than with the involvement of an invading army.

"I think one of the reasons why Tripoli is getting itself back together again in relatively good order - and of course there will be difficult days - is because it wasn't a foreign force that knocked over Gaddafi's regime, the Libyans did it themselves. This wasn't done to them, they did it and so they are rapidly mending it."

Setting out his principles for intervention overseas, Mr Cameron said: "If we have the opportunity to do the right thing and you can see that what you are about to do is achievable and doable then there's a very strong case for going ahead and that was my view about Libya. It was something we ought to do and it was something we were able to do."

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