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NATO must step up pressure on Gaddafi: Spanish FM

Spanish foreign minister says military, economic and political pressure are all working to isolate Gaddafi

AFP , Thursday 9 Jun 2011
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NATO allies must turn up the pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi if he is to finally give up power, Spain's Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said Thursday.

"We have the impression that we are closer to the end because we have stepped up military, political and economic pressure," she told Spain's Cadena Ser radio. "The Gaddafi regime is more isolated every day."

But "we have to intensify the pressure ... to convince Gaddafi to give up power," she said, speaking by telephone by Abu Dhabi where the contact group on Libya is meeting.

Jimenez on Wednesday held talks in Benghazi with Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the head of the rebels' National Transitional Council and then declared the NTC as the "sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people."

The NTC "is working responsibly" and maintaining a "very constructive attitude," she told Cadena Ser.

Two dozen countries, including key NATO allies Britain, France and Italy, as well as delegates from the United Nations, the Arab League, and the Organisation of Islamic Conference were due to attend the talks in Abu Dhabi.

As the military, political and economic pressure mounts on Gaddafi to step down, the group will discuss "what a post-Gaddafi Libya ought to look like," a senior US official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

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