NATO operations in Libya to continue - Sarkozy

Participants of a conference on the reconstruction of Libya approved on Thursday the continuation of NATO air operations until the threat posed by Muammar Gaddafi is extinguished, French President Nicholas Sarkozy said.

"We agreed to continue NATO airstrikes until Gaddafi and his supporters cease to represent a threat to Libya," Sarkozy said after the talks.

Sarkozy also said that the conference participants wanted the operations in Ivory Coast and Libya to be the start of a policy of UN-approved campaigns to "defend civilian populations" facing attack by "their own leaders."

Leaders and envoys from 60 countries and world organizations such as the United Nations and NATO met in Paris on Thursday for talks with Libya's National Transitional Council on the future of the North African state.

The rebel National Transitional Council is now in control of most of the country, with just a few pockets of resistance remaining from forces loyal to Gaddafi.

Earlier on Thursday, Gaddafi urged his followers to continue fighting "foreign aggression" and said his enemies were divided, in a message carried by the Syria-based al-Rai channel.

[Source: Ria Novosti, Paris, 01Sep11]

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