Nato will stay out of Libya: Rasmussen

2011-02-24 21:29

Kiev - Nato has no plans to intervene in the unrest in Libya and has received no request to do so, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after talks in Ukraine on Thursday.

"I would like to stress that Nato has no plans to intervene and we have not received any request," Rasmussen said after talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

"In any case, any action should be based on a clear United Nations mandate," he added.

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro claimed on Tuesday the United States was about to order Nato to invade Libya to control its oil interests.

Washington "will not hesitate to give the order for Nato to invade that rich country, perhaps in the coming hours or days," he claimed in an article written for official state media.

Both the United States and the European Union are currently considering fresh sanctions against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime, but neither has officially suggested the use of force.

No direct threat

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview published on Wednesday that the United States may find it difficult to implement a no-fly zone over Libya that would put a halt to the reported bombing of anti-Gaddafi protesters.

Gates, however, said such a zone might be enforced by France or potentially Italy, which have sufficient forces in the region.

On Thursday, Rasmussen said the current turmoil threatened to impact Libya's neighbours, but posed no direct threat to Nato or its allies.

"I do not consider the situation in Libya a direct threat to Nato or its allies," Rasmussen said.

"But of course there may be negative repercussions. Such upheavals may have impact on migration, refugees. That also goes for neighbouring countries."

More than 30 000 Tunisian and Egyptian migrants have fled to their home countries from Libya since Monday, the International Organisation for Migration said on Thursday.

  • AJ - 2011-02-25 05:16

    Damned if you do and damned if you dont.

      Hans-Erik Iken - 2011-02-25 14:37

      Yeah, if Nato does intervene most of Africa will be screaming colonialism and if they don't interfere Nato will be labeled as uncaring for the plight of the people. I have a novel idea: why don't the african nations intervene instead of leaving it to the people they wanted out a few decades ago?

  • exocist - 2011-02-25 09:37

    so who must ask for intervention the dead ?

  • The Patriot - 2011-02-25 15:57

    Send in the Legionnaires for god sake. The blatant murdering of citizens and people in hospitals is in breach of every accord/convention ever written. Take this as a request then Rasmussen. The UN sucks. The AU is useless. The protesters will win at great cost in lives, and then they will remember who stood by them in their time of need.

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