Gaddafi's Nuclear Arsenal Dug Up in Libya - ReportWorld | October 31, 2011, Monday // 10:15| views
Libya`s National Transitional Council interim Premier Mahmud Jibril speaks during a press conference in Tripoli, Libya, 30 October 2011. EPA/BGNES
Libya's rebel government has discovered nuclear and chemical weapons belonging to the regime of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi, according to senior Transitional National Council officials.
Libya's acting Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril has announced that nuclear and chemical weapons have been found in the country and said foreign inspectors would arrive later in the week to investigate the issue, Al Arabiya TV network reported on Monday quoting a National Transitional Council official.
According to Libya's interim premier Mahmoud Jibril, the issue of the chemical weapons will be referred to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) once the facts are officially announced.
Mohammed al-Saeh, an NTC official, told Al Arabiya that the discovered materials are nuclear. He said that the NTC held contacts with the IAEA to confirm the nature of the discovered materials.
The official said, the country is in close contact with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to define the composition of the exact materials of the weapons.
"By making this announcement, we reaffirm that the new Libya is a peaceful Libya, a Libya that abides by international law, a Libya that aims for development before anything else for the good of its people," Jibril said.
Jibril said Libya has no interest in keeping such weapons. He refused to give further details on the location and amount of the weapons. "There are international organizations taking care of this issue," Jibril said.
The late Muammar Gaddafi officially gave up his nuclear weapons program in 2003-2004 to strengthen Libya's ties with the West, which led to an unprecedented improvement of his relations with the USA.
The discovery of the weapons of mass destruction – and especially of nuclear weapons – in Libya still needs to be confirmed by international organizations such as the IAEA since it poses the question why Gaddafi did not even threaten to use WMDs during the almost nine months of civil war in his country, in which his regime forces were smashed by NATO air strikes.
A Russian-drafted U.N. resolution, to be voted on this week, calls on Libyan authorities to destroy its chemical weapons, RIA Novosti reported.
The Libyan conflict ended this month in controversial fashion when former leader Muammar Qaddafi was shot dead on Oct. 20, a killing criticized even by Western allies of the interim regime, the National Transitional Council.
NATO decided Friday to end its mission in Libya on Oct. 31 and urged the new regime to build a democracy based on human rights.
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