News / Europe

NATO Nations Commit to Ending Gadhafi Rule

NATO Foreign Ministers participate in a working lunch meeting on Libya as part of the NATO Foreign Minister meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, Germany, April 14, 2011
NATO Foreign Ministers participate in a working lunch meeting on Libya as part of the NATO Foreign Minister meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, Germany, April 14, 2011

NATO's secretary-general says the alliance needs more precision aircraft to destroy Libyan weapons hidden within the civilian population. Anders Fogh Rasmussen made remarks at a NATO foreign ministers meeting that is taking place amid divisions over the Libya campaign.

Speaking at a press conference at the start of the two-day foreign ministers meeting in Berlin, Rasmussen said the NATO campaign in Libya needed more precision fighters to adapt to changing strategies by the Libyan regime.

"Now they hide their heavy arms in populated areas where before many targets were easier to get to. To avoid civilian casualties, we need very sophisticated equipment. So we need a few more precision fighter ground attack aircraft for air-to-ground missions." he said.

Rasmussen said he was confident NATO would get them, although there have been no firm pledges to date. The United States, which has such aircraft, has reduced its role in the campaign although Rasmussen says it continues to contribute to the mission.

He said all participants in the Libyan mission agreed on a set of objectives, including that Libyan soldiers, mercenaries and snipers must withdraw and that the regime allow for safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

The foreign ministers meeting comes amid divisions over how forceful the NATO air campaign in Libya should be and whether to arm Libyan rebels.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the world must increase its support for the Libyan opposition. Speaking to reporters alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel,  Clinton said Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi must go.

"We are also sharing the same goal which is to see the end of the Gadhafi regime in Libya and we are contributing in many ways to see that goal realized," she said.

But Rasmussen again distanced himself from arming the Libyan rebels on Thursday, saying it was NATO's mandate to also enforce the arms embargo on Libya. He said that while NATO members were committed to protecting civilians in Libya, ousting Gadhafi  demanded a political track.

"I fully agree there is no military solution to the problems in Libya. What we need to ensure a long term sustainable solution is a political process that responds to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people," he said.

Rasmussen did not respond directly to the question of whether NATO was advising Libyan rebels on military strategy. He said the alliance had contacts with the opposition but it was up to them to decide day-to-day strategy.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid