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Libyan rebel leader talks country's future with Sarkozy

(Xinhua)

14:38, August 25, 2011

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) and Mahmoud Jibril, Libyan rebel leader number two in Libya's National Transitional Council, attend a joint press conference after their meeting at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris, France, Aug. 24, 2011. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)

PARIS, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The contact group meeting due on Sept. 1 is very important and the transition authority of Libya needs more aid, both in terms of security and economy, Libyan rebel leader Mahmoud Jibril said Wednesday.

He made the remarks at a joint press conference French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the Elysee Palace.

"We are here today for two reasons, first of all, to reassert our conviction, our fight for Libya people is not over ... we are going to develop a civil society which will include all Libyans who want to rebuild their country for generations," Jibril said.

"We are here to ask you for aid, for help our country," he said.

Talking about the upcoming meeting of the contact group over Libya, Jibril laid out various challenges facing the transition authority, including opening schools on time in September and medical support to the injured in the civil war.

The next key support and aid they need is the release of Libyan assets that were frozen as sanctions against Gaddafi regime, Jibril added.

Without specific promise to meet the rebel leader's request, Sarkozy reiterated France's support to the rebel forces fighting against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

According to reports citing sources of French foreign ministry, France is working with its partners at the United Nations to unfreeze Libyan assets.

The upcoming Libya meeting in Paris on Sept. 1 is "to help Libya to build the future," Sarkozy said, adding the meeting will be steered by "Libyan friends."

Announcing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would attend the meeting, the French president said "military operations will cease when they are not necessary, when Mr. Gaddafi and his supporters will no longer remain a threat to Libyan people."

A high-level meeting gathering Western powers, some Arab countries and international organizations will be co-presided by Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron, the two leaders that spearheaded air strike on Libya in March.

When asked on the timetable of the political transition in Libya after Gaddafi regime, the leader of Libyan National Transition Council (NTC) said it will be a phased process.

According to him, a national conference with the broadest representatives of Libyans will draw up a new constitution and form a provisional government, which will supervise the general and presidential elections. The elections are expected to take place within four months after the draft constitution is adopted by a referendum.

"A parliament would be the legitimate authority of Libya until the new government is formed" and a number of UN observers will be welcomed to "to analysis our need for policing," Jibril said.

"I think the UN will play an indispensable role in providing technical support for the elections," he underlined.

However, as long as whereabouts of Gaddafi remains a mystery, there is no end for the war.

Gaddafi vowed to fight on in an audio message and called on supporters to purge "traitors" in Tripoli.

Earlier on Wednesday, rebels offered a bounty of 2 million dinars (1.3 million U.S. dollars) on Gaddafi, no matter his is dead or alive.



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