Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Nato to enforce Libya no-fly zone

Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance will enforce the no-fly zone in Libya

Nato secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said the alliance will enforce the no-fly zone over Libya.

Mr Rasmussen said late on Thursday the 28 member nations have agreed to act in order to protect Libyan civilians from attacks by the forces of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

The decision came after six days of negotiations and a breakthrough when Turkey, Nato's only Muslim member, agreed to back the plan.

The state-run Anatolia News Agency quoted Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as saying: "All of Turkey's concerns, demands on the issue have been met."

The apparent breakthrough came after Foreign Secretary William Hague told the House of Commons he wanted to see operations moved from the command of the United States to Nato "as quickly as possible".

"We need agreement to unified command and control for it to be robust, and we expect to get that soon," he said.

Mr Hague took part in a four-way phone conversation with Mr Davutoglu, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and French foreign minister Alain Juppe during which the new arrangements were thrashed out.

The outlines of the deal were then put to the Nato ambassadors of the other coalition partners, as EU leaders met over dinner just a few miles away in Brussels to discuss progress in enforcing the UN Security Council resolution, which authorises "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians against dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

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