NATO to end Libya mission on October 31

Updated: 2011-10-28 20:09

(Xinhua)

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BRUSSELS - NATO formally decided on Friday to cease operations in Libya on October 31, exactly seven months after the military alliance assumed full control of the campaign.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced that NATO's decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council, formalized a preliminary decision reached one week ago to end the mission next Monday.

"Until then, together with our partners, we will continue to monitor the situation. And if needed, we will continue to respond to threats to civilians," Rasmussen said in a statement after NATO ambassadors' meeting.

The NATO chief hailed the Libya mission as "one of the most successful in NATO history," which helped Libyan rebels topple the Gaddafi regime, captured and killed the former Libyan leader.

"We launched this complex operation faster than ever before. We conducted it effectively, flexibly and precisely with many partners from the region and beyond. And we are concluding it in a considered and controlled manner, because our military job is done," he said.

The decision came one day after the UN Security Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution that will terminate on October 31 the no-fly zone and civilian protection mandates adopted earlier this year for Libya.