UPDATE 1-NATO confirms decision to end Libya mission on Monday

Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:07am GMT

"I wouldn't expect new tasks beyond that," he said.

The NTC officially announced Libya's liberation on Oct. 23, days after the capture and death of Gaddafi. NATO commanders have said they believe the interim administration is able to take care of the country's security.

Libyan Deputy U.N. Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi asked the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to wait before terminating the mandate. He said the government needed time to assess the security situation in its country and its ability to monitor its borders.

Western diplomats said council members did not want to wait and NATO allies have been keen to see a quick conclusion to a costly effort that has involved more than 26,000 air sorties and round-the-clock naval patrols, at a time when budgets are under severe strain due to the global economic crisis.

While NATO has declared the mission a success, the intervention caused sharp rifts in the alliance and went on much longer than Western nations had expected or wanted.

NATO officials said members of the alliance were free to give further security aid to Libya individually.

Officials pointed to comments from Qatar's top general, who said on Wednesday that Western countries had proposed setting up a new alliance headed by Qatar to support Libya after NATO ends its mission.

The U.N. resolution does not lift the arms embargo or other U.N. sanctions on Libya that have been in place for half a year. It made clear that weapons were still a problem, voicing "concern at the proliferation of arms in Libya and its potential impact on regional peace and security". (Reporting by David Brunnstrom; editing by Rex Merrifield)

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