* 'A new Libya is coming to life,' de facto PM tells UN
* Jibril appeals for release of remaining Libya assets
By Alistair Lyon
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 24 Libya's de facto Prime
Minister Mahmoud Jibril told the United Nations on Saturday his
country has been reborn after toppling Muammar Gaddafi and
appealed for the release of remaining frozen Libyan assets.
"A new Libya is coming to life," he said in the first
appearance by Libya's new leadership at the United Nations.
He recalled how Gaddafi had stood at the same podium two
years ago and tossed a copy of the U.N. charter over his
shoulder as he accused big powers of betraying its principles.
Jibril, in a business suit and tie, cut a very different
figure from the deposed Libyan ruler who appeared at the United
Nations in 2009 in a copper-colored robe to denounce the West
in what Jibril called "a pathetic, theatrical move."
Jibril, who headed a state economic think tank under
Gaddafi until he resigned after his proposals for liberalizing
the economy were rejected, told the U.N. General Assembly Libya
was on a new path to a constitutional democracy and
"We do not claim we have a magic wand," he said,
contrasting this with Gaddafi "who looked at himself in the
mirror and suddenly discovered he is an almighty prophet with a
solution to every problem on Earth, except for Libya's
Jibril asked the U.N. Security Council to release all
remaining Libyan assets out of an estimated $150 billion that
were frozen under sanctions against Gaddafi.
U.N. diplomats say there are technical problems to resolve
before the release of all the assets, some of which they fear
could fall into the hands of Gaddafi, his relatives or aides.
Jibril heads the executive committee of the ruling National
Transitional Council (NTC), the voice of the rebel movement
that rose up against Gaddafi's 42-year-rule and drove him from
power with support from the West and several Arab nations.
He acknowledged that NTC forces have yet to capture all of
Gaddafi's strongholds, a vital goal if the NTC is to impose its
authority across the oil-producing North African country.
"Libya is not fully liberated yet," Jibril said, referring
to Gaddafi bastions such as Bani Walid and the ousted leader's
birthplace of Sirte, where more battles raged on Saturday.
The NTC, still based in the eastern city of Benghazi, said
last week it would move to Tripoli only after its forces are in
full control of Libyan territory, despite an earlier pledge to
move the interim administration to the capital in
The NTC said on Friday it would unveil a "crisis"
government in the next few days, signaling a breakthrough in
efforts to form a more inclusive administration in the
If the NTC cannot swiftly impose control on Libya and
its own forces, this may embarrass Western leaders, especially
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister
David Cameron, who gambled by backing the anti-Gaddafi
Jibril said Libya could become a "gateway to migration"
from Africa to Europe, arguing that African labor could
contribute to European economic growth as the continent's
population declines, even as Africa's booms in the next few
(Editing by Will Dunham)