September 18th Updates

New York: London: Tripoli:

Reuters21:50 Reuters Mukhtar al-Akhdar, a military official in charge of the Tripoli airport, told Reuters that damage caused during the uprising has been repaired, the facility was “totally secure” and he hoped it would start operations by Thursday.

“The airport is ready for airplanes to arrive and depart,” he said. “We had to do some maintenance on the runway due to the shelling of the [Gaddafi] militia, which is now fixed. We cleared the remains of the planes that were destroyed by the militia.”

Al Jazeera21:46 Al Jazeera English The unveiling of a new Libyan government due on Sunday has been put off “indefinitely”, Mahmud Jibril, the number two official in the National Transitional Council said.

“The announcement of a new transitional government has been postponed indefinitely in order to finalise consultations,” Jibril told a news conference in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Earlier Jibril had said that last-minute haggling had delayed the announcement of the new cabinet line-up.

Al Jazeera14:08 Al Jazeera English 36 interim cabinet members are expected to be announced at about 16:00 GMT, as the NTC continues to debate the make up of the new government.

“What we know for sure is that it will be represented 36 people from different parts of Libya,” Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra reporting from Tripoli said.

“By that they would like to ensure a representation that takes into account all different ethnic groups and all different cities.

“They do understand that the stakes ahead and the challenges facing this pro-Gaddafi Libya are going to be incredibly high, and for this they want people who no affiliations with the Gaddafi time.”

Al Jazeera11:01 Al Jazeera English The two pilots who defected to Malta in February will reportedly return to Libya. The pilots said they had been ordered to bomb Benghazi, but diverted their planes to Malta at the last minute. They are expected to receive a hero’s welcome.

10:56 Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey has launched an initiative to meet the food and water needs of the Libyan people by parachuting supplies to them.

twitter10:51 Jenan Moussa tweeted (22:10 last night): “A number of families fled #sirt today. One man told me, “everyone in #sirt is armed; #sirt is like hell.”

Reuters10:04 Reuters Powerful explosions and sustained machinegun fire rattled the Libyan desert stronghold of Bani Walid on Sunday as fighters loyal to Muammar Gaddafi shelled positions held by interim government forces around the town.

Forces backed by Libya’s new rulers said fighting had continued overnight on the outskirts of Bani Walid, one of the ousted leader’s last bastions, as their opponents put up strong resistance.

“We fought all night. We have surrounded the city from all sides with the range of 40 km (25 miles),” anti-Gaddafi field commander Absalim Gnuna told Reuters at the northern gate of Bani Walid.

Telegraph10:00 Sunday Telegraph Former British prime minister Tony Blair made two private trips to Muammar Gaddafi prior to the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, convicted for the Lockerbie bombing. Blair, who left office in June 2007, used a Libyan regime jet to visit Gaddafi in June 2008 and April 2009, the newspaper said, citing documents discovered in Tripoli since Gaddafi was ousted from power.

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3 Responses to September 18th Updates

  1. francesca_fr says:

    About Malta – I think the attitude and behaviour of both Maltese government and population has been exemplary during all these difficult months – such a tiny country, but brave-hearted, especially if you imagine, if MrG regime had prevailed (God forbid), the kind of revenge they would have plotted against all those who helped revolutionaries in any way.
    Hopefully the two countries will continue to have good neighbourly relations, beneficial to all.

  2. Fredy says:

    Thanks Turkey.

    Turkish President Erdogan seems determined to show the world that Turkey is sensitive to other cultures besides theirs in times of need.

    Most countries have a lot of excuses not to help . Turkey can help.

  3. Richard from France says:

    about the two pilots who refused to bomb their own people… In France, during Algeria war, people who refused to fight were imprisoned in military fortresses. Today my country helps the libyan people…

    The world seems better now.

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