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NATO's mission in Libya still necessary: spokesman

(Xinhua)

10:21, August 31, 2011

BRUSSELS, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- NATO will continue its military campaign in Libya as the remnants of the Gaddafi regime still pose threats to civilians, the alliance's spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

"The NATO mission is important, it has been effective, and it's still necessary- in order to protect civilians... It looks as if we are nearly there, but we're not there yet," Oana Lungescu told a press briefing.

Oana said that it was up to the North Atlantic Council, the alliance's decision-making body, to decide when to end the Libya mission.

"Last week, when the North Atlantic Council met, there was consensus around the table...the anti-Gaddafi momentum is irreversible and there was full commitment to continue the mission until the mandate is fulfilled, but no longer than it is absolutely necessary," she said.

The remnants of the regime still has "the ability to command and control systemic attacks" and NATO should continue its military campaign in Libya, said Colonel Roland Lavoie, spokesman for NATO's Libya mission.

"Does he (Gaddafi) represent a threat to the security of Libya? Definitely, more certainly. And this is why we continue to engage the military assets that are being deployed," he told reporters in Brussels from Naples via video link.

"NATO's mission is not finished yet. We remain fully committed to our mission and to keeping the pressure on the remnants of the Gaddafi regime until we can confidently say civilians of Libya is no longer threatened," he said.

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