Britain, U.S. back key NATO role in Libya

14:37, March 24, 2011      

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British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed with U.S. President Barack Obama during talks Wednesday that NATO should play a key role in the command structure of the Libyan intervention.

According to the official website of the prime minister's office, the two leaders agreed good progress had been made in NATO on command and control of military operations, and NATO should lead the operation in the future.

The U.S., France and Britain have been joined by several other countries in attacking Libyan government forces in a UN-authorised operation to impose a no-fly zone over the war-torn North African country.

Cameron has told the House of Commons the alliance had a "tried and tested machinery" for running such a complex multi-national mission.

The two leaders said they were both satisfied that substantial progress had been made in implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1973, and that the international community's action had helped save countless civilian lives in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, a rebel stronghold.

But a lot of work remained to be done, especially avoiding civilian casualties, they said.

British forces are resuming patrols in the skies over Libya for a fifth day with Tornado and Typhoon jets seen taking off from their bases.

At Prime Minister's Questions Wednesday noon, Cameron said Arab countries' support for the military operation over Libya was very strong. Kuwait and Jordan would join the operation with logistic help.

There is still controversy in parliament over whether Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is a target. Cameron said: "All our targets must be selected to be absolutely in line with UN Security Council resolution 1973. That allows us to take all necessary measures to enforce a no-fly zone." Chief of the Defense Staff David Richards said targeting Gaddafi was not allowed under the UN resolution.

Cameron also discussed the situation in Libya with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal during a meeting at 10 Downing Street Tuesday. The Saudi minister expressed strong support for the aims of the UN resolution and the steps being taken by the international community to enforce it.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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