BENGHAZI (AFP) - US President Barack Obama lauded a new chapter for Libya Tuesday as the victorious rebels red, black and green flag was hoisted at the United Nations ahead of its annual General Assembly. Fugitive strongman Moamer Gaddafi issued an audio message dismissing the new government as a charade that would not outlive the Nato air and naval support that brought it to power. But Obama warned Gaddafi loyalists still putting up resistance in their remaining bastions to lay down their arms and join the new Libya, promising that Nato-led air strikes would continue as long as they remained a threat. Today, the Libyan people are writing a new chapter in the life of their nation, the US president told world leaders at a UN meeting on Libya being held on the sidelines of the General Assembly. After four decades of darkness, they can walk the streets, free from a tyrant, he told the meeting which was also attended by Libyas new leadership. Credit for the liberation of Libya, belongs to the people of Libya, he insisted, but stressed the international community was not pulling out yet. So long as the Libyan people are being threatened, the Nato-led mission to protect them will continue. And those still holding out must understand the old regime is over, and it is time to lay down your arms and join the new Libya, the US commander-in-chief said. Obama met Libyas National Transitional Council (NTC) chief, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, for the first time Tuesday and the US leader said the focus should also now turn to a democratic transition after 42 years of dictatorship. We all know whats needed. A transition that is timely. New laws and a constitution that uphold the rule of law. Political parties and a strong civil society. And, for the first time in Libyan history, free and fair elections. Abdel Jalil praised the Nato-led coalition for its assistance in the uprising in which he said some 25,000 people had died, and he promised fair trials for captured members of the ousted regime. The flag of the new Libya was flying over the United Nations in New York ahead of the General Assembly, an event at which Gaddafi was for decades an outlandish fixture turning up with his trademark tent to deliver rambling speeches to other world leaders. The red, black and green of the new Libya also took its place among the flags of UN member states at the world bodys European headquarters in Geneva in a ceremony on Tuesday, replacing the green flag of the Gaddafi era.