News / Africa

NATO to Send Ships Closer to Libya to Monitor Arms Embargo

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at headquarters in Brussels, March 10, 2011
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at headquarters in Brussels, March 10, 2011
Al Pessin

The NATO alliance has agreed to send ships closer to the Libyan coast to monitor compliance with the U.N. arms embargo against the government of Moammar Gadhafi. But key alliance leaders, including U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, say they do not have the authorization or regional support that would be needed for direct military action.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced the decision to move the ships closer to Libya to improve what he called "situational awareness," and to help with humanitarian relief efforts. He says the alliance will also develop urgent and detailed plans for relief missions and for what he called "more active measures." He said that includes planning on how to create and enforce a No-Fly Zone over Libya.

But Rasmussen said there is no U.N. authorization for the use of force, and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates agreed.

"The key factor here is first of all the limitations of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1970, which even when it comes to the embargo does not provide the authority for enforcement,” Gates said. “So if there were to be a need for enforcement there would need to be a new U.N. Security Council resolution, even for that purpose."

Both Gates and Rasmussen said NATO will take further military action only if there is a clear need, a new U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force and support from North African and Middle Eastern countries. Gates said the alliance is "very mindful" of concerns in the region about the possibility of Western military activity in Libya.

"I think that a number of ministers made clear that we wanted to put ourselves in a position to assist the Arab League, the African Union or the U.N. in this endeavor, and very sensitive to NATO being responsive to those organizations, rather than taking an initiative on its own," he added.

Gates has said a No-Fly Zone would be a significant and potentially difficult military operation, and he has expressed concern about the regional reaction to any presence in Libya of Western ground troops.

Rasmussen stressed that no decision for additional military action was made during Thursday's meeting, but he said he can not imagine the international community standing "idly by" if Colonel Gadhafi continues attacking his own people. The NATO secretary-general also said if the current divide in Libya continues, it could become a "failed state" and "a breeding ground for extremism and terrorism."

He called the situation a matter of great concern and urged the Libyan government to stop the violence and "allow a peaceful transition to democracy."

Rasmussen said NATO is united, vigilant and ready to act, but for now is taking only limited action, while planning for possible stronger action in the future.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid