News / Middle East

    EU, NATO, UN Discuss Intervention in Libya

    European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during the informal meeting of EU Defense Ministers in Godollo, Hungary,  February 25, 2011
    European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during the informal meeting of EU Defense Ministers in Godollo, Hungary, February 25, 2011

    United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay has called for international intervention in Libya to stop mass killings and bloodshed that she said may amount to crimes against humanity.  Her comments Friday came as European defense ministers met in Hungary, where NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen did not rule out enforcing a no-fly zone above Libya among other measures to end the violence. 

    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters that the council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would discuss Friday what role the Western military alliance could play in Libya.

    He said the emphasis for now is on humanitarian aid, but he did not rule out NATO's involvement in enforcing a no-fly zone for Libyan aircraft if mandated by the United Nations.

    “We should give cooperation of evacuation of people in need and to humanitarian assistance," he said. "As regards the no-fly zone, it has not been discussed yet.  I would, however, say that such a far-reaching approach would require a very clear international legitimacy and in particular a United Nations mandate."  

    There has been growing pressure on NATO to enforce a no-fly zone, amid reports that forces still loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi are using military planes to attack opponents of the regime.  

    Rasmussen expressed anger about the reported role of security forces in the crackdown on often unarmed protesters.

    "I strongly condemn the use of force.  It is absolutely outrageous that the Libyan regime apparently uses armed forces against its own people," he said.

    Rasmussen spoke at a meeting of European defense ministers in Hungary, which is currently holding the rotating six-month presidency of the European Union.

    His comments came after U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged international intervention.

    Speaking in Geneva, she expressed concerns that thousands of people may have been killed or wounded in the mounting violence against anti-government protesters, many by shots to the head or chest.

    “They have appealed to the United Nations and to the international community for protection.  We owe them our solidarity and protection from violence," she said. "We must heed their aspiration for freedom, dignity and responsible governance.  Far from being manipulated by external forces, their protest is a display of people's power, an exercise of direct democracy that deserves and commands international respect and support."   

    EU foreign policy chief Catherine Aston said using military force was not discussed during the gathering in the Royal Palace of Godollo, a town near Budapest.

    She said there is concern about the thousands of EU citizens still left in Libya and that EU member states are cooperating to evacuate them.  

    Ashton said she has been in close contact with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about the situation.

    "In Libya, we now watch," she said. "We have been very clear in our statements to Gadhafi to stop the violence.  And we are working closely with the U.N.  I spoke to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a few moments ago.  I mean, one of the reasons that this meeting is taking place is for defense ministers to be able to think about how they can best collaborate.  I don't think at this point there is any discussion on any sort of military action around Libya."

    The Libyan situation also underscored plans by European defense ministers to increase military cooperation among NATO and EU member states at a time of global economic crisis.

    Rasmussen said he is working on a plan involving the EU and NATO sharing resources to help each other in purchasing expensive military equipment at a time of economic austerity measures.  

    As an example, the NATO chief mentioned the cooperation of several member states in stationing three C-17 cargo planes at a former Soviet military base in Hungary to aid NATO missions.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora