NATO Secretary General Rasmussen: ‘NATO Will Up Military Pressure While Political Efforts are Stepped Up”

ROME–(ENEWSPF)–5 May 2011.  After the first meeting in Doha, the Contact group on Libya gathered today in Rome. It brought together 22 Foreign Ministers and representatives of NATO and other key international and regional organisations under the co-chairmanship of Italy and the State of Qatar.

Participants pledged to intensify the pressure on the regime politically, militarily and economically until they fulfil in full the conditions set out in United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973. They underscored that NATO actions are necessary to implement the Resolutions, and welcomed the additional contributions to strike operations.

“The International Contact Group meeting was a clear demonstration of unity and strong support for continuing NATO’s mission from the whole international community”, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stressed.

Since 31 March 2011, NATO has been in command of Operation Unified Protector in Libya, which enforces the UN-mandated arms embargo, No-Fly Zone and protection of the civilian population.

Mr Fogh Rasmussen recalled that at their ministerial meeting in Berlin, Allies and partners set three clear military objectives: all attacks and threats against civilians must stop; all regime military and paramilitary forces must withdraw to bases; and free and unfettered humanitarian aid access must be ensured.

“Our mission will continue until the mission goals are fulfilled. We all share the desire to see this sooner rather than later. A sustained coordinated international effort, comprising both political and military means, will help bring an end to this crisis and the suffering of the Libyan people”, the Secretary General concluded.