Obama calls for peaceful transition in Libya

President Barack Obama has promised the NTC the world will stand with the Libyans and provide help for the “new Libya.” Speaking at a high-level UN meeting he urged Gaddafi loyalists to lay down their arms.

­“We will stand with you in your struggle to realize the peace and prosperity that freedom can bring," Obama said at the UN conference on Libya's reconstruction.

Barack Obama was addressing a multilateral meeting, including Libya’s National Transitional Council, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. It was the second time that he was meeting Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of the NTC.

Obama praised the international community for making Libya a better place by removing Gaddafi from power.

"Our international coalition stopped the regime in its tracks, saved countless lives, and gave the Libyan people the time and space to prevail," Obama said. At the same time he said the international community was not pulling out just yet.

"Libya is a lesson in what the international community can achieve when we stand together as one," he said.

Obama stressed that he was proud that the USA had played “a decisive role, especially in the first days.”

But not everyone sees the situation the same way. Russia believes that NATO forces exceeded their authority and took advantage in an already sensitive conflict.

Thousands of people have been killed and tens of thousands wounded in the uprisings against Muammar Gaddafi, as bombings and military conflict increased.

Speaking about the future of Libyan people, the president called on the NTC to focus on democratic transition, after four decades of one-man rule that is "peaceful, inclusive and just."

“We all know what's needed: a transition that is timely; new laws and a constitution that uphold the rule of law; political parties and a strong civil society; and – for the first time in Libyan history – free and fair elections," Obama said.

The US now recognizes the NTC as Libya's legitimate government. Obama announced that the US ambassador was heading back to Tripoli to lead a newly reopened American embassy.

Obama's speech on Libya opened the first of his two days of meetings at the UN General Assembly in New York.