New York: The NATO forces would continue their operations in Libya until Muammar Gaddafi is in power, the leaders of France, US and UK have said.

"As long as Gaddafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds," they wrote in a joint article published in the International Herald Tribune, Le Figaro and Times of London.

"Then a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process can really begin, led by a new generation of leaders. For the success of the transition, Gaddafi must go and go for good," wrote US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and France President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The article said the objective of the Security Council resolution was not to remove Gaddafi by force but to protect civilians.

"But it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Qaddafi in power," they said, adding, "It is unthinkable that someone who has tried to massacre his own people can play a part in their future government."

The three leaders also welcomed the International Criminal Court's investigations into crimes committed against civilians and the grievous violations of international law.

Noting that Libyan leader had plans to carry out "terrorist attacks" against civilian ships and airliners, they said that that Gaddafi in a leadership role would condemn Libya as a pariah and failed state.

In March, the UN Security Council authorised "all necessary measures" for protecting civilians in Libya by passing a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire and  establishing a no-fly zone and.

India, China, Russia, Brazil and Germany abstained from voting on the resolution.

(Agencies)