Defense Minister Carme Chacon said Wednesday that Spain will keep its diplomatic mission in Libya "just as up to now" and added that it will only change its military contribution in that country when a new post-Gadhafi era begins.

She made her remarks upon being asked at a press conference for her forecasts about Spanish participation in the NATO military mission in Libya, after she had earlier visited the Spanish Army Cartographic Center.

"The dictatorial regime of Col. Gadhafi has come to its end," the minister said, adding that she was confident that "as soon as possible, Gadhafi will be seen in court."

Chacon said that Spain feels that the next phase in Libya must be led by the United Nations and that, if NATO continues to have a role in the North African country, "Spain will be together with the allies."

She emphasized the "intense work" of Spanish troops in Libya, where they are participating in operations to hinder the entry of weapons by sea and prevent forces loyal to the Gadhafi regime from bombarding the civilian population.

"Currently and as long as the civilian population may continue needing protection, neither the mission nor the capabilities that Spain has contributed is going to change," the minister emphasized.