Instant view: Reactions to rebel advance into Tripoli

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 22, 2011 3:44 AM
Instant view: Reactions to rebel advance into Tripoli

(Reuters) - Libyan rebel fighters poured into Tripoli and on Monday morning controlled most of the capital, though fighting persisted in a few districts. The whereabouts of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi were unknown but the rebels held two of his sons, Saif Al-Islam and Mohammed.

Here are reactions to the rebel advance into Tripoli.

ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER FRANCO FRATTINI:

"The only route that Gaddafi should follow is that of giving himself up."

"The regime should name two authoritative figures that are not stained with blood crimes" to help guide a transition. Asked if one of them could be former Gaddafi number two Abdel Salam Jalloud, now in Italy, Frattini said: "He certainly has all the characteristics to be it. Don't wait for us to suggest him. He will clarify his position when he believes it opportune. I am convinced that many people will recognize him for an important role in the construction of a new Libya."

He said it was still possible for Gaddafi to remain in Libya and coexist with a new democratic regime, "but by now events are reducing the margins of a possible mediation."

UAE POLITICAL SCIENTIST ABDULKHALEQ ABDULLA:

"The most important thing that happened in Libya on the night of August 22 is not the fall of Gaddafi's regime but the joining of 5 million people to the procession of freedom."

"I think the most miserable person on earth after Muammar Gaddafi is Syria's Bashar al Assad. Gaddafi's fall will not only make the Libyan people happy, but will also inspire the Syrian people."

BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICE MINISTER ALISTAIR BURT:

"The first and most important thing is to make sure that civil order is preserved, that there is food, that there is water, there is power -- all the things that people need to make sure their daily lives go on,"

"The evidence of what has happened in other cities would suggest that when the National Transitional Council has been in charge instead of the Gaddafi regime things have worked perfectly well, perfectly smoothly."

"(There have been) no major reprisals against those who had previously been supporting the regime and that is what we want to see -- stable order in Tripoli as quickly as possible."

HAMAS SPOKESMAN SAMI ABU ZUHRI:

"Hamas welcomes the entry by Libyan revolution fighters into the capital Tripoli and congratulates them on this great victory."

"We hope this will represent a turning point in the history of Libya toward progress and prosperity in implementing the will of the Libyan people."

SHADI HAMID, RESEARCH DIRECTOR OF BROOKINGS DOHA CENTER:

"Arabs needed this, they needed another victory, this changes the whole tone in the region after several months of disappointment. You can see this on Twitter and Facebook that the whole region is watching this very closely.

Asked if the NTC will be able to control the situation, "The NTC is an impressive body. They've done an impressively good job governing Benghazi and I think you have very smart people and a leadership that thought post-Gaddafi Libya. They've been preparing for several months.

"It's probably going to be messy, there's always a risk after the fall of a leader ... But the international community is united in supporting the NTC.

"The question is will the international community be able to provide the funding the NTC is in need of. (Securing the funds) "It has been slow and disappointing but I think now that the NTC is the unquestioned representative of Libya, there'll be international pressure to release funds. It's not going to happen overnight, but there's a realization that the NTC needs funding.

EGYPTIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HAMDEEN SABAHY:

"I salute the triumph of the Libyan people after a long struggle against Gaddafi's rule."

"It is certain that the Arab revolution will continue and will triumph against all tyrants and oppressors. Arab revolutions are completed today by the victory of the Libyan people. Congratulations on your freedom."

FRENCH INTELLECTUAL BERNARD-HENRI LEVY, REBEL SUPPORTER:

"Gaddafi now controls a lot less than 20 percent of Tripoli. He now controls nothing more than his bunker."

"These French arms (delivered to the rebels) powerfully contributed to the victory, as did the French pilots. But it was the Libyans themselves, young Libyans who were mocked and insulted for their so-called indiscipline, it was they who took Tripoli last night ...

"The National Transitional Council is capable of managing what it has promised to do, that is to say the transition. These men have always said they had no personal ambition and did not wish to run the country in the long term. They are there to organize the transition ... to help install a new government in a few months, which they want to be a democratic government."

Libya will go down in history as the anti-Iraq. Iraq was democracy parachuted into a country by a foreign power in a country which hadn't asked for it. Libya was a rebellion which demanded help from an international coalition led by France, and which will continue now in the reconstruction of the country.

KUWAITI MP WALEED AL-TABTABAIE:

"Mubarak's departure is a victory for the youth and a loss for Israel, Gaddafi's departure is a victory for the people and a loss for comedy and Bashar (al-Assad)'s departure will be a victory for Syria and a loss for Iran."

(Editing by Tim Pearce)