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NATO ‘consensus’ on Libya no-fly zone

Posted by on March 18, 2011 0 Comment

Brussels, March 18 (DPA) NATO nations are ready to police a no-fly zone over Libya, but the details of how that military action will be implemented still need to be decided, a diplomat said after a key meeting of the military alliance.

NATO ambassadors held talks in Brussels in the wake of the UN Security Council approving late Thursday a resolution authorising the no-fly zone and the use of military force to enforce it.

“We see a consensus that NATO will be willing to implement the no-fly zone but it is still unclear how partners will participate in it,” the diplomat told DPA.

The source indicated that NATO ambassadors were expected to hold further discussions over the weekend.

Earlier, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said Friday’s talks had been convened “to discuss the implications of the resolution and advance planning for all eventualities.”

NATO members went into meeting divided. Germany, which is currently a Security Council member, abstained in Thursday’s UN vote, with its ambassador there warning that the military option was “extremely difficult” for his country.

NATO defence ministers said last week that any military action would require a “demonstrable need” for the alliance to act, “firm regional support” and a “clear legal basis.”

Since then, the Arab League said it backed the imposition of a no-fly zone – facilitating UN agreement on a resolution calling for it.

On Friday, Belgium said it was ready to contribute to a NATO military operation with six F-16 fighter jets and a mine-sweeping vessel, while Spain announced it would allow the use the Rota and Moron military bases in the south of the country.

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