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Libyan Ambassador: NTC will start transition now

Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) will begin its handover of power and set up elections following the death of Muammar al-Qaddafi, the Libyan ambassador to Washington told The Cable. "That’s what they declared before and that’s what they have to do now. Now they have to start work for the election and the institution building ...

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Getty Images
Getty Images

Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) will begin its handover of power and set up elections following the death of Muammar al-Qaddafi, the Libyan ambassador to Washington told The Cable.

"That's what they declared before and that's what they have to do now. Now they have to start work for the election and the institution building for the new Libya," said Ambassador Ali Aujali today.

Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) will begin its handover of power and set up elections following the death of Muammar al-Qaddafi, the Libyan ambassador to Washington told The Cable.

"That’s what they declared before and that’s what they have to do now. Now they have to start work for the election and the institution building for the new Libya," said Ambassador Ali Aujali today.

Aujali also outlined the help that Libya was seeking from the U.S. government and the American business community in the wake of Qaddafi’s death. The NTC wants U.S. assistance in training its military, protecting its borders, and setting up the foundations of the new government and civil society. He invited American companies to participate in the reconstruction of Libya.

"Qaddafi was the one who was always an issue and an obstacle to a relationship based on confidence and mutual interest," Aujali said.

He specifically called for U.S. medical aid for injured Libyan fighters, a proposal that senators such as John McCain (R-AZ) have also supported.  Medical assistance was part of the $11 million aid package that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on her visit to Tripoli earlier this week.

(Clinton learned of Qaddafi’s death over her Blackberry during a stop in Afghanistan earlier on Thursday.)

Aujali said that Qaddafi was killed by rebel militias and his death was not related to any NATO airstrike missions. He also said that he had heard, but could not independently confirm, that Qaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam was dead.

"These types of regimes always end in tragedy," he said.

The Libyan embassy in Washington is tasked with expressing the NTC’s gratitude to its American interlocutors for the role the United States played in the months-long struggle against the Qaddafi regime.

"Thanks to the U.S. and NATO and the Arab countries that supported us and came forward to help the Libyan people," Aujali said.

President Barack Obama made brief remarks about Qaddafi’s death at the White House this afternoon and called for a quick formation of an interim government and a stable transition to Libya’s first free and fair elections.

"You have won your revolution and now we will be a partner as you forge a future that provides dignity, freedom, and opportunity," he said "For the region, today’s events prove once more that rule by an iron fist inevitably comes to an end."

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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