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NATO Watch On Libya Fighting

  • March 8th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

rasmussen-7311.jpgThe NATO alliance has increased its air surveillance of Libya but has denied any plans to intervene in the fighting there.

The alliance’s Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen (picture), told journalists in Brussels (7.3.11) it had to be prepared for any eventuality  but was currently concentrating on humanitarian work and getting foreign nationals out of the country.

“The civilian population in Libya is the target of systematic attacks by the regime … “, he said.

“The whole world is watching events in Libya and the wider Middle East… The violation of human rights and international humanitarian law is outrageous.”

The NATO air watch has been extended from ten to 24 hours a day, to get information on the clashes going on between the Gaddafi forces and rebels.

There have been continued calls from  the opposition side for a “no fly” zone to be set up over Libya, to ground the government air force and block off its supplies, while NATO heads have spoken of sending arms to the rebel forces.

Defence Ministers are to meet at the Brussels headquarters of NATO on Thursday and Friday (10.11)1.

As well as the crisis in Libya they are expected to bring in representatives of the government of Afghanistan, and partner countries in the Afghan conflict including Australia, to discuss the process of handing over security in different areas to local command.

Reference

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Brussels, “NATO Defence Ministers will discuss situation in Libya and longer term prospects in Middle East”, 7.3.11.  http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/index.htm, (8.3.11).

Ola Galal, “Libya Rebels Push to Regain Town as NATO Weighs No-Fly Zone”, Blomberg. NY, 8.3.11. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-07/qaddafi-s-airstrikes-on-rebels-spur-nato-discussions-of-libya-no-fly-zone.html, (8.3.11).

Picture  Anders Fogh Rasmussen, media conference – NATO

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