Gadhafi Losing Ground, London Says

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LONDON, Aug. 8 (UPI) — The Libyan regime of Moammar Gadhafi is facing political, economic and diplomatic setbacks, a British official said.

NATO forces in March began supporting a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone. Though regime change wasn’t included in U.N. Security Council resolutions mandating force in Libya, world leaders said there was no future for a Libya under the control of Moammar Gadhafi.

British Middle East and North African Minister Alistair Burt said following high-level talks in Abu Dhabi and Istanbul that the international community was behind the mission in Libya.

“They want to see civilians protected, which is the U.N. resolution, and that determination to do that is very clear,” he said in a statement.

Nearly five months after the NATO-led operation mission in Libya began, the situation on the ground is fluid in terms of military gains by rebel forces in the country. The rebel-backed leadership, however, continues to make steady gains on the diplomatic front.

“We see steady incremental progress being made,” said Burt.

Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported that Libyan rebel leaders are working on plans for stability in the event that Gadhafi is removed or steps down from power.

The rebel-backed Transitional National Council will keep most of the state institutions in place in order to prevent a crisis like the one that “hit Iraq after the overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein,” the report adds.

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