"Sic transit gloria mundi (Thus passes the glory of the world)," Berlusconi was quoted as saying, referring to Gaddafi's demise. "Now the war is over."
Earlier Thursday, Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril confirmed that Gaddafi had been killed by rebels: "We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed," he told reporters in Tripoli.
US President Barack Obama said that Gadaffi's death marked the end of a long and painful chapter for Libya.
Speaking Thursday from the White House Rose Garden, Obama said the Libyan people now have the opportunity to determine their own destiny, adding that they also have a great responsibility to build a tolerant and democratic Libya.The US, he said, is Libya's partner in democracy.
"This marks the end of a long and painful chapter for the people of Libya who now have the opportunity to determine their own destiny in a new and democratic Libya," he told reporters in the White House Rose Garden.
Obama also said the death of Gaddafi, was significant in the Arab world where protests have provoked the fall of long-standing dictators. "The rule of an iron fist inevitably comes to an end," he said.
'New chance for democracy'
Responding to the news, British Premier David Cameron said the people of Libya now have a greater chance of building a strong and democratic future. "This is a day to remember the victims of Gaddafi," he said, adding that he was "proud of the role played" by Britain in the fall of the "brutal dictator."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Gaddafi's death was the "turn of a new page for the Libyan people – a start of the process to establish democracy."
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said France was "proud" to have helped the people of Libya topple Gaddafi's oppressing regime. "The death of Muammar Gaddafi marks the end of 42 years of tyranny and the beginning of democracy in Libya. It is the beginning of a new era, the beginning of democracy and reconstruction in Libya," he said.
Rebels celebrating near Sirte (Photo: Reuters)
UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon said that Gaddafi's death marks a "historic transition for Libya."
"Clearly, this day marks an historic transition for Libya… 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,” he said.
German Chancellor Angela said that Gaddafi's death meant that "the path is clear for a new, peaceful start for Libya."
'Libya on new path'
Meanwhile, the European Union urged Libya's interim rulers on Thursday to push for a broad-based reconciliation in the country following the death of deposed leader.
The president of EU council of member states, Herman van Rompuy, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said dialogue between all elements of Libyan society was needed for a successful transition to democracy.
"The reported death of Muammar Gaddafi marks the end of an era of despotism and repression from which the Libyan people have suffered for too long," they said in a statement. "We call on the National Transitional Council to pursue a broad based reconciliation process which reaches out to all Libyans and enables a democratic, peaceful and transparent transition," they said.
Celebrating in Tripoli (Photo: Reuters)
Following the news of Gaddafi's death, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank announced that they will return to Libya in "coming weeks" to assess the nation's economic and financial needs, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday.
Several NTC officials said Gaddafi was killed during a fight for his hometown in Sirte on Thursday. But Western powers, who have backed the rebellion which took the capital Tripoli two months ago, said they were still seeking confirmation.
Jibril has asked Algeria to extradite any Gaddafi family members who are staying on its soil.
AP, AFP and Reuters contributed to this report
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