NATO says preconditions fulfilled for actions against Libya

09:12, March 19, 2011      

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The NATO chief said on Friday that preconditions for taking military operations on Libya had been fulfilled and the alliance was working on completing its plans.

"There is an urgent need, firm support from the region and a clear UN mandate for necessary international action," NATO Secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement following a gathering of ambassadors of NATO countries.

NATO has set three preconditions for launching an operation on Libya, including a "demonstrable need" for action, a "clear legal basis" and "firm regional support."

"NATO is now completing its planning in order to be ready to take appropriate action in support of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, as part of the broad international effort, " the statement said.

Before Friday's meeting, NATO allies were still divided on whether to impose a no-fly zone. While the United States, Britain and France strongly backed the idea, Germany remained cautious and Turkey expressed opposition.

A diplomat said that NATO nations reached consensus on Friday on the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya, but failed to fix details about how partners will take part in.

NATO ambassadors are expected to meet over the weekend, the diplomat added.

Meanwhile, some NATO nations have expressed their willingness to participate in the deployment of a no-fly zone over Libya.

Britain said on Friday that Typhoon and Tornado aircraft would be moved in the coming hours to unidentified bases near Libya, where they could be deployed.

Belgium said it would provided six F-16 fighter jets and a frigate, while both Italy and Spain offered their bases.

Norway and Denmark said they would contribute F-16 fighter jets or transport planes to NATO's operation.

On Saturday, high-level representatives of the European Union, the United Nations and the African Union will gather in Paris to discuss the Libyan crisis.

Leaders from Britain, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Belgium, as well as foreign ministers from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have also been invited to attend the meeting.

Analysts said that if NATO nations failed to move collectively, participating countries and organizations in the Paris summit on Saturday may form some kind of a coalition and launch operations on their own.

Source: Xinhua
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