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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid