By Ria Novosti
NATO is planning to end its military operation in Libya on October 31, the alliance’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said on Friday.
NATO made the preliminary decision during a meeting of its governing body earlier in the day. Speaking after the meeting, Rasmussen said the formal decision is expected to be announced next week.
Earlier on Friday, Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Russia was introducing a resolution in the UN Security Council calling for an end to the no-fly zone over Libya.
Moscow hopes that the resolution will be passed “in the next few days,” he said.
The UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973 introducing a no-fly zone over Libya in March, a month after an uprising against Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s authoritarian rule broke out in the North African country. The resolution also authorized “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians from attacks by pro-Gaddafi troops.
The U.S.-led military operation in Libya began on March 19. NATO took over control of the operation on March 31.
Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya for 42 years, was captured by National Transitional Council (NTC) soldiers near his home town of Sirte on Thursday. He was later shot and died of his wounds, the doctor who performed DNA tests on Gaddafi’s body said.