Libya's NTC asks NATO to stay 'at least one more month'

AFP , Tuesday 25 Oct 2011

Chief of Libya's Supreme Security Council asks NATO to extend its mission in the country, despite the indisputable fall of Gaddafi

Libya's new regime wants NATO to keep up its mission in the north African country for "at least one more month", interim oil and finance minister Ali Tarhuni said on Tuesday.

"I ask NATO to remain at least for another month," he told reporters in the eastern city of Benghazi, birthplace of the revolt that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

Tarhuni chairs the Supreme Security Council which was formed in Tripoli in September.

His request came four days after NATO announced plans to end its seven-month mission in Libya on October 31.

The Western military alliance, which launched air strikes on Gaddafi's forces at the end of March, is to issue a formal decision next week after consulting the United Nations and Libya's interim authorities.

Libya is "essentially" free from threat of attack by Gaddafi loyalists and its interim leaders are capable of handling such threats, NATO's head of operations in the country, Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, said on Monday.

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