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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More