France and Britain have called on those loyal to Gaddafi to drop him before it is too late.
A joint statement by President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister David Cameron urged the Libyan leader’s supporters to defect.
The declaration was issued ahead of tomorrow’s meeting in London to discuss the Libyan crisis.
French foreign minister Alann Juppe said: “The military intervention was aimed at stopping the massacre and preventing it in Benghazi. This point shouldn’t be forgotten. If we hadn’t done what we did, in extremis, as we said to the UN Security Council, it would have been a question of days or even hours. Today everyone realises that we managed to stop this offensive. But that is not the solution. The solution is to allow Libyans to meet amongst themselves and to decide on their future. That is what we will talk about in London.
The hive of diplomatic activity took place as NATO assumed operational control of the mission to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, following agreement between allies on Sunday.