27 Oct 2011

NATO mission extension wanted by NTC

10:00 am on 27 October 2011

The National Transitional Council in Libya has called for NATO to extend its mission there until the end of the year.

NTC chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil said the extension was needed to help Libyans trying to control surplus weapons and to deal with Gaddafi loyalists.

NATO previously made a preliminary decision to end operations on 31 October. Diplomats had been expected to confirm that date on Wednesday.

"We hope (NATO) will continue its campaign until at least the end of this year to serve us and neighbouring countries," Mr Jalil said in Qatar at a gathering of states that supported the NTC's military campaign.

He said thye appeal was aimed at "ensuring that no arms are infiltrated into those countries and to ensure the security of Libyans from some remnants of (ex-leader Col Muammar) Gaddafi's forces who have fled to nearby countries".

Mr Jalil added that the NTC wanted help "developing Libya's defence and security systems".

NATO was operating in Libya since March under a UN mandate to protect civilians.