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Libya's Transitional Council Says It's Moving To Tripoli

NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil

NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil

The head of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) says the leadership of the movement plans to move to Tripoli next week, as the Libyan capital continues to stabilize following the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi.

NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil spoke in the eastern city of Benghazi, which was the base of the movement as it battled for the past six months to end Qaddafi's 42-year rule.

"God willing, we will depart to Tripoli next week," Jalil said. "But we should extend our greetings to the inhabitants of Benghazi, rebels of Benghazi, and to the liberation square in Benghazi, which hosted the international mass media and played a vital part in the blessed victory we have obtained."

The interim leadership has also pledged to hold democratic elections for Libyan leaders within 20 months, as part of a process that will include the drafting of a new constitution and a referendum.

The announcements came on September 2, a day after world leaders meeting in Paris agreed to hand over to the NTC more than $15 billion of frozen Libyan assets to help fund rebuilding.

Qaddafi, who remains in hiding, has in audio messages released this week vowed to wage a lengthy guerrilla war against the new leadership that is assuming power in Tripoli.

compiled from agency reports