BEIJING, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- The international community was quick to respond to the confirmation of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's death on Thursday by saying it hoped the National Transitional Council (NTC) would start to organize a democratic government.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Gaddafi's death and the end of fighting in the North African country mark "a historic transition for Libya."
"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," the Secretary-General said in an interactive dialogue on global sustainability, which was organized by the UN General Assembly.
"Combatants on both sides must lay down their arms in peace," he said. "This is a time for healing and rebuilding, for generosity of spirit, not for revenge."
In a White House statement Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama said that Libya had a "long and winding road to full democracy" and the Libyan people "have a great responsibility" to build an "inclusive and tolerant and democratic Libya that stands as the ultimate rebuke to Gaddafi's dictatorship."
The United States would act as a partner to Libya's interim government, Obama said, and urged a swift transition to democratic elections.
The Elysee Palace, the French president's office, issued a statement saying "the liberation of Sirte marked ... the beginning of the process approved by the NTC to establish in Libya a democratic system in which all parts of the country will have their place and where fundamental freedoms will be guaranteed."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the death of Libya's fallen leader, and said the country is now free to "begin peaceful democratic reforms after the death of Muammar Gaddafi."
She emphasized that Germany supports Libya on its road to democracy, rule by law and national reconciliation.
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi called on political forces and officials in Libya to unify and build a country which would meet the aspirations of the Libyan people, adding the League wants to support the Libyan people in the transitional stage.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi used a Latin phrase to comment on Gaddafi's death -- "sic transit gloria mundi" (thus passes the glory of the world). "The war is over," he said.
In South Africa, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation reiterated the country's view that through all-inclusive democratic elections in accordance with the roadmap as announced by the NTC, a peaceful solution for Libya could be guaranteed.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said at a news briefing that Canada hopes the Libyan people will find peace and reconciliation after "this dark period in the life of their nation." Harper also said Canada is looking forward to working with them.
Egypt expressed hope for a "new chapter" in Libya and pledged support in rebuilding the country.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg hoped Libya would become stable and elect a responsible government in a democratic way.
Bulgaria hoped "the end of the former Libyan leader will herald the end of the suffering of the Libyan people and the beginning of a new era in which Libyan citizens are able to live without fear and humiliation in a united and prosperous country."
South Korea congratulated the Libyan people on achieving "a historic transition," and hoped national unity and reconstruction could be achieved in a peaceful and democratic way.