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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.