Libya: Prime minister makes first visit to warzone after fall of dictator Gaddafi

PRIME minister David Cameron is making his first visit to Libya today - just weeks after the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Mr Cameron was being joined by French president Nicolas Sarkozy for talks with leaders of the uprising which seized the Libyan capital on August 23.

They are the first leaders from countries which took part in this year’s Nato-led military operations in Libya to visit the north African state.

Their visit comes while fighting continues around remaining strongholds of the Gaddafi regime and while the hunt continues for the dictator, who was ousted from power after 42 years by the uprising which began in February.

Mr Cameron, who was arriving in Tripoli on board an RAF C-17 transport plane under conditions of great secrecy, is expected to meet members of Libya’s new National Transitional Council (NTC) government, including the NTC head Mustafa Abdul Jalil.

The British and French leaders are likely to receive a hero’s welcome from Libyan people who credit them with helping prevent Gaddafi crushing the uprising in Benghazi and creating the conditions for the rebels to fight their way to Tripoli.

Mr Cameron and Mr Sarkozy spearheaded the drive for the United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 in March which authorised the use of Nato force to protect civilians in Libya against Gaddafi’s forces.

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And Britain and France have played a major role in the international military effort which imposed a no-fly zone over Libya and unleashed air strikes to destroy much of Gaddafi’s forces.

Remnants of the Gaddafi regime continue to hold out against the rebels in strongholds including the oasis town of Bani Walid, south east of Tripoli.

The former dictator remains in hiding, but many of his inner circle, including one of his sons, have fled to neighbouring Niger.

Mr Cameron was expected to announce a series of UK measures to help the country recover from seven months of conflict.

At Libya’s request, up to 50 places at specialist hospitals in the UK are to be made available to people needing advanced surgery, prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation for severe injuries, including some hurt by mines left behind after the end of the war.

Those benefiting are expected to include Abdul Ahmed, the Libyan boy whose plight has touched the hearts of many British TV viewers.

The UK Border Agency will waive visa requirements for the patients, each accompanied by one adult, for the visits to receive medical treatment, fully funded by Libya.

Mr Cameron will announce that some �600,000 of Department for International Development money is to be reallocated to mine-clearing activities in Libya through the Mines Advisory Group, with the aim of protecting up to one million people from unexploded devices.

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