Cameron says he'll help hunt for Gadaffi: 'This isn't over'

At beginning of joint visit to post- Gadaffi country with Sarkozy, British PM declares staunch support of new Libya at Tripoli press conference.

By REUTERS
September 15, 2011 15:32
2 minute read.
Cameron speaks at news conference in Tripoli

Tripoli conference R 311. (photo credit: Reuters/ SUHAIB SALEM)

 
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TRIPOLI - Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday pledged that Britain would help to hunt down fugitive former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"This is not over," Cameron told a news conference in Libyan capital Tripoli. "We will help you to find Gaddafi and bring him to justice."

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Cameron was on a joint visit to Tripoli with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Both leaders will visit Benghazi, the cradle of the revolution that overthrew Gaddafi, later on Thursday.

"We stand ready to help but we want to know what it is you most want us to do," Cameron said. "This is the moment when the Arab spring could become the Arab summer and we see democracy advance in other countries, too."

In the meantime, a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron's office in London announced on Thursday that Britain is releasing a further ($944) worth of Libyan assets.

"We are unfreezing their assets. They need to do things like pay public sector workers and the police force," the spokesman said.

Britain released around $1.5 billion in Libyan bank notes last month, flying the first consignment on an RAF aircraft to the port city of Benghazi.



Britain is pushing for a revised UN agreement to allow further funds to be released to the National Transitional Council, which needs cash to restore public services as it tries to stabilize Libya.

Cameron is due to announce a package of financial and logistical help for the NTC, including a two-man military liaison team which will be sent to Tripoli to help with counter proliferation.

Britain would also provide funding to help Libya track down and decommission stocks of chemical weapon agents, mines and missiles left over from the Gaddafi era, the spokesman said.

"We will be providing one million pounds to fund NGOs (non-governmental organizations)," the spokesman said. "They will work with the NTC."

The visit is a victory lap for Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron, who defied doubters at home to lead a NATO bombing campaign that succeeded in ushering in a victory by forces who swept away Gaddafi's 42-year rule last month. Both are popular on the streets of Libya, where "Merci Sarkozy" and "Thank you Britain" are common graffiti slogans. But families fleeing besieged bastions of ousted strongman Muammar Gaddafi are a reminder that peace is still far off.


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