NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks to reporters in Tripoli. Abdel Magid al-Fergany/AP/Press Association Images

Libya names new prime minister

Meanwhile, NATO’s Secretary General is in Tripoli to mark the military organisation’s withdrawal from the country.

LIBYA’S INTERIM LEADERSHIP has chosen an electronics engineer from Tripoli as the country’s new prime minister.

Abdel-Rahim al-Keeb was chosen today by 51 members of the National Transitional Council. He will appoint a new Cabinet in coming days. The new government is to run Libya in the coming months and to pave the way for general elections.

Jalal el-Gallal, an NTC spokesman, says al-Keeb received 26 votes. He says the NTC wanted to form a new interim government after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi because its initial members started out as an impromptu group.

Meanwhile, NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is in Libya to mark the military organisation’s exit from the North African country.

The NATO-led Operation Unified Protector comes to an end at midnight tonight – seven months after it began.

Rasmussen met with Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the chairman of the NTC and other members of the interim government. He told reporters at a press conference that he was proud of the role NATO played in the revolution against the 42-year-long Gaddafi regime.

He congratulated the Libyan people on their “courage, determination and sacrifice”.

At midnight tonight, a successful chapter in NATO’s history is coming to an end. But you have already started writing a new chapter in the history of Libya. A new Libya, based on freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and reconciliation,” he said.

However, he warned that the hard work has just started for the Libyan people.

He also expressed the hope that a democratic Libya can join the circle of NATO partners “one day soon,” if this is the wish of the Libyan people.

UN Security Council members voted to end the mandate which allowed for NATO’s presence in Libya today despite calls from the NTC to remain on in the country.

Libya’s liberation was officially declared on 23 October.

-Additional reporting by AP

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