WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama said Thursday the death of Muammar Gaddafi ended a long, painful chapter for Libyans and warned ‘iron fist” regimes in the rest of the Arab world they would inevitably fall.
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Obama said Gaddafi’s demise vindicated the collective military action of the West and said Libyans now had a chance to build a “democratic” and “tolerant nation.”
Below are reactions from other world leaders.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon
This day marks a historic transition for Libya. In the coming days, we will witness scenes of celebration as well as grief for those who lost so much. Now is the time for all Libyans to come together. Libyans can only realise the promise of the future for national unity and reconciliation. Combatants on all sides must lay down their arms in peace. This is the time for healing and rebuilding, for generosity of spirit, not for revenge.
US vice-president Joe Biden
The Libyan people have gotten rid of a dictator. NATO got it right.
The African Union
The Union said it had lifted its suspension of Libya’s membership and said in a statement it would authorise the current authorities in Libya to occupy the seat of Libya in the AU and its organs.
The European Union
The death of Gaddafi marks the end of an era of despotism, said Herman Van Rompuy, the bloc’s president. That Gaddafi died in a raid in Sirte means an end also to the repression from which the Libyan people have suffered for too long.
British prime minister David Cameron
People in Libya today have an even greater chance after this news of building themselves a strong and democratic future.
Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi
Now the war is over. Sic transit gloria mundi [Thus passes the glory of the world]
French president Nicolas Sarkozy
The disappearance of Muammar Gaddafi is a major step forward in the battle fought for more than eight months by the Libyan people to liberate themselves from the dictatorial and violent regime imposed on them for more than 40 years.
German chancellor Angela Merkel
With this, a bloody war comes to an end, which Gaddafi led against his own people. Libya must now quickly take further resolute steps towards democracy and make the achievments so far of the Arab Spring irreversible.