World Leaders Hail Libya's 'Momentous Day'

World Leaders Hail Libya's 'Momentous Day'

The death of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been hailed as a victory for the Libyan people by political leaders around the globe.

Speaking outside Downing Street after the death was confirmed by Mahmoud Jibril, leader of the National Transitional Council (NTC), David Cameron said he was "proud" of the role Britain played in helping anti-Gaddafi forces liberate the country.

The Prime Minister said: "People in Libya today have an even greater chance, after this news, of building themselves a strong and democratic future.

"We will help them, we will work with them, and that is what I want to say today."

He also said it was a moment to remember Col Gaddafi's many victims, including those who died in the Pan-Am terrorist attack in 1988.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said today marked "an historic transition for Libya" and called on combatants on all sides to lay down their arms.

US President Barack Obama called it was a "momentous day" in the history of Libya but warned there will be "difficult days ahead" on the road to full democracy in the country.

Mr Obama also urged the Libyan people to respect the human rights of those they had detained.

"The dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted and with this enormous promise the Libyan people now have a great responsibility to build an inclusive and tolerant and democratic Libya that stands as the ultimate rebuke to Gaddafi's dictatorship," he said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking from Pakistan, said "Wow" when she heard the first unconfirmed reports of Col Gaddafi's capture.

She told reporters in Islamabad she hoped Libya would be able to move on from its troubled past.

In a joint statement, the European Union president Herman Van Rompuy and Commission president Jose Manual Barroso said the death "marks the end of an era of despotism".

It also signals an end to the "repression from which the Libyan people have suffered for too long", they added.

Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi said: "Now the war is over."

Mr Berlusconi and Col Gaddafi signed a friendship treaty in 2008 but the Italian prime minister backed the rebels and called on Gaddafi to give himself up earlier this year.

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