A Libyan transitional government will start work even while Muammar Gaddafi remains in Tripoli, a Libyan UN envoy said today.
But deputy ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi warned in an interview with AFP that it could still take weeks to force Gaddafi out of power and that no foreign troops should enter the country.
Former justice minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil announced on Saturday that he had formed a transitional government based in the eastern city of Benghazi which is in opposition hands.
Dabbashi said the transitional government would be launched "soon" and it would start work even while Gaddafi controls the capital.
"It should be created immediately. It is very important to de-legitimize the Gaddafi government," said Dabbashi, one of the first Libyan envoys to turn against Gaddafi over his brutal crackdown on opposition protests in which hundreds are said to have died.
"Everyone supports the transitional government. It is already gaining the support of the people in all parts of the country."
He added: "We want it to be established as soon as possible so that it can be the channel between the Libyan people and the outside world."
When a prime minister or head of government is announced, the government would then seek international recognition. Contacts have already started at the United Nations about the government, he told US media.
The government will be based first in Benghazi and only move to the capital when it is "liberated", Dabbashi added.
He was speaking as the West edged closer to military action against Gaddafi and the United States said air strikes would be needed to secure a no-fly zone over Libya.
Dabbashi said that from his talks at the UN there was "broad support" internationally for a no-fly zone.
"It has to be imposed through the Security Council. Still some countries are reluctant about that, but it depends on the situation on the ground, if it proves to be necessary even those who are reluctant will follow the others," the envoy predicted.
Russia and China, two of the five permanent council powers who can veto any resolution, would probably oppose a no-fly zone, diplomats said.
Dabbashi insisted though that foreign armies must stay out of Libya.
"Whoever can help the Libyan people in getting rid of the Gaddafi regime, it will be appreciated. But there is a national consensus inside Libya that no direct foreign military intervention in the country is accepted. No-one accepts it on the ground."
Dabbashi still believes that Kadhafi will be forced out, but says the timing depends on the support of the Libyan military for the strongman who has ruled the country since a coup in 1969.
"Sometimes it takes only a few days, but sometimes it might take some weeks. It depends on the change of force.
"He has a huge military force, but also there are military forces which are still neutral. It depends if the Libyan army, which is still neutral, changes its position, maybe in a few days he will be out," the envoy said.
Click to view image: '659b19d4d844-20110301200200dreamcompo_photo_20110301_preview_5333740105.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|