NTC chief: Libya still needs NATO support

Head of National Transitional Council calls on alliance to provide protection as reconstruction teams set to work.

    The head of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) has called on NATO to keep up the military pressure on forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

    Mustafa Abdul Jalil, who met NATO officials in Qatar on Monday, said that Gaddafi, whose forces have lost control of most of the country, including Tripoli, the capital, was "still capable of doing something awful in the last moments".

    Jalil urged NATO to shift its focus to help safeguard reconstruction teams seeking to ease water and power shortages in Tripoli and elsewhere.

    The NTC leader estimated at least 60 per cent of Tripoli's residents don't have enough water.

    Jalal al-Digheily, who is overseeing defence issues in the NTC, said NATO-led forces must now keep watch over
    work crews seeking to restore services.

    "Even after the fighting ends, we still need logistical and military support from NATO,'' he told military chiefs of staff and other key defence officials from NATO nations.

    Qatar has been a leading Arab backer of the Libyan rebels and has contributed warplanes to the
    international effort.

    US Admiral Samuel Locklear, representing NATO, said the military alliance could offer help to disarm civilians and pro-Gaddafi forces, but gave no details on whether such a plan would require NATO ground troops.

    Locklear, the commander of the Allied Joint Forces Command in Italy, also said NATO could have a role in securing weapons stockpiles.

    US officials have said Gaddafi's regime stored chemicals such as mustard gas outside Tripoli and hundreds of tons of a uranium concentrate known as yellowcake at a small nuclear facility east of the capital.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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