Contact Group Needs to Respond to the Legitimate Demands of the Libyan People, Says NATO Secretary General

BELGIUM–(ENEWSPF)–13 April 2011.  Today’s first meeting of the Contact Group on Libya represented an important step in developing a credible, workable and acceptable political solution to the Libya crisis, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen indicated.

The meeting, which follows the 29 March London Conference, was held in Doha under the co-chairmanship of the State of Qatar and the United Kingdom. It brought together more than 25 Foreign Ministers and representatives from key international and regional organizations.

NATO Secretary General’s participation in the meeting reaffirms NATO’s role as a key actor in the broad international effort on Libya, to which the Contact Group provides the overall political direction.

“There is no purely military solution to this crisis”, Mr Rasmussen stressed. “We look to the Contact Group on Libya to endorse meaningful diplomatic and political initiatives designed to put a quick end to the violence”, he insisted, “and we have to initiate a political process that responds to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people.”

Since 31 March 2011, NATO has been in command of Operation Unified Protector, which enforces the UN-mandated arms embargo, No-Fly Zone, and protection of the civilian population. The main campaign effort focuses on the targeting of those military assets that could constitute a threat against the civilians.

“Much work still remains” Mr. Rasmussen warned. “While we strive towards a political solution to this complex problem, NATO will continue to implement forcefully our UN Security Council mandate to protect the civilians. Gaddafi must comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1973 or face continued NATO attacks on his forces.”