October 26, 2011
Obama Says Qaddafi Missed Chance For Democracy
U.S. President Barack Obama says former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi missed his chance to bring democracy to his country and described his death as a message to dictators around the world.
"This is somebody who for 40 years had terrorized his country, had supported terrorism, and he had an opportunity during the Arab Spring to finally let loose of his grip on power and to peacefully transition to democracy. We gave him ample opportunity and he wouldn't do it, Obama said to Jay Leno on NBC's "Tonight Show."
"Obviously, you never like to see anybody come to the kind of end that he did, but I think it obviously sends a strong message around the world to dictators that people long to be free."
Obama's comment come after Qaddafi was buried in a secret desert location, five days after his capture and subsequent death.
Meanwhile, one of Qaddafi's sons, Saif al-Islam, remains at large.
An official of Libya's National Transitional Council said Saif al-Islam was in the southern desert near Niger and Algeria and was set to flee Libya using a false passport.
The news comes as NATO prepares to meet later on October 26 to formally decide when to end its Libya mission. NATO has a preliminary decision to end it on October 31.
Libyan interim Oil and Finance Minister Ali Tarhouni said the NTC wanted NATO to maintain its mission for another month.
compiled from agency reports
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