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Foreign Heads Of State, U.S. Politicians React To Gadhafi's Death

As news of the killing of Col. Moammar Gadhafi spread, politicians, world leaders and dignitaries have been issuing statements. We've collected some them on this post and we'll add more as we get them:

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said this in a statement at U.N. headquarters in New York:

"In the coming days, we will witness scenes of celebration, as well as grief for those who lost so much. Yet let us recognize, immediately, that this is only the end of the beginning. The road ahead for Libya and its people will be difficult and full of challenges."

"Combatants on all sides must lay down their arms in peace. This is the time for healing and rebuilding, for generosity of spirit – not for revenge."

John McCain, Republican Senator from Arizona:

"The death of Muammar Qaddafi marks an end to the first phase of the Libyan revolution. While some final fighting continues, the Libyan people have liberated their country. Now the Libyan people can focus all of their immense talents on strengthening their national unity, rebuilding their country and economy, proceeding with their democratic transition, and safeguarding the dignity and human rights of all Libyans. The United States, along with our European allies and Arab partners, must now deepen our support for the Libyan people, as they work to make the next phase of their democratic revolution as successful as the fight to free their country."

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D, Mass.):

"Qaddafi's death marks the end of his reign of terror and the promise of a new Libya. The United States demonstrated clear-eyed leadership, patience, and foresight by pushing the international community into action after Qaddafi promised a massacre. Though the Administration was criticized both for moving too quickly and for not moving quickly enough, it is undeniable that the NATO campaign prevented a massacre and contributed mightily to Qaddafi's undoing without deploying boots on the ground or suffering a single American fatality. This is a victory for multilateralism and successful coalition-building in defiance of those who derided NATO and predicted a very different outcome.

"Qaddafi denied Libya the basic building blocks of democracy and instead leaves behind a legacy of cruelty and international isolation. This is an extraordinary moment, but the days ahead will not be easy. The Middle East revolutions remind us that creating a free and tolerant political order is a more difficult challenge than removing a despotic one. The Libyan people have inspired the world with their incredible courage and fierce determination to be free. I urge the leaders of the Transitional National Council to begin the political transition to a permanent, democratically elected government. And I urge the international community to continue to stand with the Libyan people and support the creation of viable governing institutions."

Speaking outside of 10 Downing Street,British Prime Minister David Cameron said:

"I think today is a day to remember all of Colonel Gaddafi's victims, from those who died in connection with the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, to Yvonne Fletcher in a London street, and obviously all the victims of IRA terrorism who died through their use of Libyan Semtex.

"We should also remember the many, many Libyans who died at the hands of this brutal dictator and his regime.

"People in Libya today have an even greater chance after this news of building themselves a strong and democratic future. I am proud of the role that Britain has played in helping them to bring that about and I pay tribute to the bravery of the Libyans who helped to liberate their country.

"We will help them, we will work with them and that is what I want to say today. Thank you."

Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry:

"The death of Muammar el-Qaddafi is good news for the people of Libya. It should bring the end of conflict there, and help them move closer to elections and a real democracy.

"The United States should work closely with Libya to ensure the transition is successful, and that a stable, peaceful nation emerges.

"The U.S. must also take an active role in ensuring the security of any remaining stockpiles of Qaddafi's weapons. These weapons pose a real danger to the United States and our allies, and we cannot help secure them through simple observation."

From the BBC, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi:

"Sic transit gloria mundi (the glory of the world is fleeting). Now the war is over."

Also from the BBC, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe:

"The announcement of the death of Gaddafi and the collapse of Sirte is the end of a very difficult period for the Libyan people. It's the end of 42 years of tyranny, of a military conflict that has been very difficult for the Libyan people.

"It's an historic event. It's the beginning of a new period, of a democracy, freedom and the rebuilding of the country. France is proud to have helped the Libyan people."

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney :

"Muammar al-Qaddafi was a tyrant who terrorized the Libyan people and shed American blood and the world is a better place without him."

Republican presidential candidate and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman:

"Colonel Gaddafi's demise is positive news for freedom-loving people everywhere, but it is just one step in a long and tumultuous turnover that is coming to Northern Africa. It is my sincere wish that this news accelerates Libya's transition to a society that respects openness, democracy, and human rights. I remain firm in my belief that America can best serve our interests and that transition through non-military assistance and rebuilding our own economic core here at home."

California Senator Barbara Boxer, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

"The Libyan people, with the support of the international community, have rid themselves of a brutal tyrant who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and thousands of his own citizens.

"We now look to the Libyan people to build a more democratic state that respects the rights of its citizens. I commend the President, the U.S. military and our allies for their efforts to help the Libyans bring an end to the oppression and horrific atrocities committed by Moammar Gaddafi's regime."

Minnesota congresswoman and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann:

"For more than 40 years, we lived with the Muammar al-Qaddafi regime and the atrocities he orchestrated. The world is a better place without Qaddafi. It is my hope that Qaddafi's reign of terror will be replaced with a government that respects the people of Libya and one that will be a good partner with the United States. Hopefully, today will also bring to an end our military involvement there, something I opposed from its beginning."

According to Venezuela's El Universal,President Hugo Chavez said Gadhafi would be remembered as a "martyr:"

"Unfortunately, Gadhafi's death has been confirmed. He was assassinated... We will always remember Gadhafi as great fighter, a revolutionary, a martyr.

"Libya's history is just starting. The United States' empire won't dominate this world. The saddest part is that in its zeal to dominate the world, the empire and its allies are setting it on fire."

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Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.