Brussels, March 10 (DPA) NATO is to move warships to the central Mediterranean to monitor the situation in Libya, but not to take military action there, the alliance’s secretary general said Thursday.
NATO already has AWACS radar aircraft monitoring Libyan airspace, but defence ministers at a long-planned meeting Thursday agreed that the alliance needs to beef up its monitoring of the country’s coast.
“It has been decided to increase the presence of NATO maritime assets in the central Mediterranean,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen told journalists in Brussels.
The ships will “improve NATO’s situational awareness, which is vital in the current circumstances, and they will contribute to our surveillance and monitoring capability, including with regard to the (UN) arms embargo,” he said.
NATO sources said that the ships involved would be a German frigate and Italian cruiser from a permanent patrol group in the western Mediterranean, together with a mine-sweeping force.