Africa

Hope, fear as media await Gaddafi exit

Libyan rebel fighters celebrate as they drive through Tripoli's Qarqarsh district
Image caption Rebel fighters have made great gains in Tripoli since Sunday night

Newspapers around the world expect the imminent collapse of Muammar Gaddafi's Libyan government. But while some commentators express optimism about the implications of Gaddafi's departure for Libya and the wider region, others look to the future with trepidation.

In the Middle East, at least one commentator expects Gaddafi's exit to help a transition in Syria, which like Libya, has seen months of anti-government unrest.

Outside the region, a Chinese commentator foresees the possibility of another protracted conflict such as the one in Afghanistan, and an Italian commentator warns of catastrophe if Europe leaves Libya to its own devices.

TARIQ AL-HUMAYD IN LONDON-BASED PAN-ARAB AL-SHARQ AL-AWSAT

The fall of Gaddafi at any moment means that the world will be a much better place … our region is about to get rid of leaders and regimes who have not brought anything other than destruction and obstructing the development of the region. The international community will be in a better position to deal with Yemen and Syria.

EDITORIAL IN LONDON-BASED AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

Days or perhaps even the next few hours will be critical to Libya. The most difficult test is how Libya will be managed post-Gaddafi, with the clear and evident divisions within the ranks of the forces opposed to the regime.

YASIR AL-ZA'ATRAH IN JORDAN'S AL-DUSTUR

For more than six months, the Libyan people have been waiting for the decisive hour. An hour that will save them from madness and hallucination and will save them from a leader who describes his people as rats; a leader who sold everything for the sake of remaining in power, a leader who does not know anything except to rave and who suffers from egotistic madness... After the victory, the Libyan people will rebuild their country and take dignified stances on issues of the Arab nation.

SAUDI ARABIA'S AL-JAZIRAH

The decisive moment has come for Libya. In a matter of days or hours the Libyan people will get rid of the tyrant Muammar Gaddafi who mistreated them for many decades.

MUHAMMAD AL-SA'ID IDRIS IN UAE'S AL-KHALIJ

Many observers of the development of the Libyan crisis and its complications believe that unlocking the puzzle into the assassination of the chief of general staff of the rebels, Gen Abd-al-Fatah Yunus, is the key to understanding the mystery surrounding events in Libya or what will happen in Libya if Muammar Gaddafi's regime falls ... Post-Gaddafi Libya might witness a cycle of intensive struggles.

PROF MENG XIANGQING IN BEIJING'S RENMIN RIBAO

Under the current siege by the Libyan armed opposition, one can say that both Gaddafi and the opposition are basically at the last stage. Gaddafi's current options are limited... The opposition may encounter desperate resistance by militias loyal to Gaddafi. If that is the case, the duration of the conflict will drag on even longer.

CHINA'S ENGLISH-LANGUAGE GLOBAL TIMES

During the six months of the war, there have been opportunities for a political settlement to the crisis, but these did not happen, in large part due to the West's resolute drive to topple the strongman's regime. This attitude has made the conflict even bloodier. There are increasing worries about whether Libya could become the next Afghanistan. Internal ethnic conflict and extreme religious tendencies will not disappear with Gaddafi.

RUSSIA'S NATO ENVOY DMITRIY ROGOZIN IN RUSSIA'S KOMMERSANT

The operation in Libya needs immense financial investments but Europe is facing an economic crisis. So, NATO decided to end the war by hook or by crook and ideally before the end of August.

DANIEL HAUFLER IN GERMANY'S BERLINER ZEITUNG

Libya is almost free, but it is in no way certain that democracy and freedom will reign here in the future. The decisive phase of the liberation of Libya starts here. The West has taken responsibility for the fight against Gaddafi, but it must now help build a democratic state. This is more difficult than bombing.

GUENTHER NONNEMACHER IN GERMANY'S SUNDAY EDITION OF FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG

The fight against Gaddafi has entered its final phase. Without Nato's support, the Libyan uprising would have been quashed in a bloody manner - this was worth the use of Western arms. But no one can take credit away from the Arab nations and tribes for seeking to achieve freedom or at least the chance to take their fate into their hands. This includes the sacrifices of which one day, after the bloodshed has ended, they can rightly be proud.

MARTA DASSU' IN ITALY'S LA STAMPA

The moment of truth has arrived at last for the Libyan dictator and his regime. After months of a forgotten war in Europe's backyard, Gaddafi's defeat will be a face-saver for Nato. In theory. In practice, it won't be easy to manage. If Libya is left to its own devices by a Europe grappling with financial crisis, victory and breakdown could meld into a "catastrophic success", to quote the pessimistic and cyncial expression doing the rounds in Brussels.

SERGIO ROMANO IN ITALY'S CORRIERE DELLA SERA

If the Libyan war, as it seems, has ended, we know who has lost it: the Colonel, his family clan, those who profited from the regime, the tribes allied to it, the international friends who bet on his victory. What we don't know though is who has won it. The rebels have fought bravely, but they are a patched-up force, made up of [disparate groups] ... in the best hypothesis the country will come to be governed by a coalition of post-Gaddafi opportunists, who have long been accomplices of the man who dominated Libya for 42 years.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.