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EU ready to pay state bills to get new Libya on feet

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(BRUSSELS) - The EU could help pay Libyan government staff and police, and is ready to send experts into Tripoli "at any minute" to assess fuel, water and medical needs, a senior official said Tuesday.

As rebels fought their way into Moamer Kadhafi's compound in the Libyan capital, the official said the European Union "will need money to pay public sector workers and the police", and that experts would travel to Tripoli as soon as "minimal security conditions are established".

"The entire supply chain is broken," said the official, who did not want to be named, but who has coordinated EU preparations for life after Kadhafi on the ground for months. "There is no more fuel, no more water, no more medicine," he said.

The EU also expects to play a role in gathering up the proliferation of arms littering the city, he also said, while admitting "that won't be easy".

Once Kadhafi's exit is confirmed, a "very rapid" process could begin whereby EU sanctions against Libya would be rolled back, he said, although he underlined the 27 member states would have to follow due process in reaching that decision.

EU foreign affairs representative Catherine Ashton meanwhile has asked that another meeting be held on Friday in New York of the Cairo Group for Libya, gathering the EU, the African Union and the Arab League.

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