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NATO and UK hope for more Libya strike aircraft

04-16-2011 10:26 BJT

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NATO foreign ministers have held their second day of talks in Berlin. Britain and France have urged other NATO allies to provide more combat planes, after the US cut back its role in the operation.

At the Berlin conference, NATO Secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen was optimistic that allies will send more combat planes for the Libyan mission.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary-General, said, "We have got indications that nations will deliver what is needed but this was not a pledging conference so I'm hopeful that we will get the necessary assets in the very near future."

At the Berlin conference, NATO Secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen was optimistic that
allies will send more combat planes for the Libyan mission.

Leaders of the United States, Britain and France have published an open letter, saying they will not stop the campaign and would "remain united".

Anders Fogh Rasmussen also said, "The letter reflects the unity of purpose and determination of NATO allies, exactly the unity we expressed yesterday in our Libya statement."

Despite pressure from Britain and France, Italy says it will not order its aircraft to open fire in Libya.

Ignazio La Russa, Italian Defense Minister, said, "Our line has not changed so far and I think we will keep following in this direction, obviously in full respect of the opinions of all the others. The council of ministers has discussed a proposed use of the aircraft in a different manner, but as I have said, this was a mere proposition which we will not pursue."

BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 14: Round table at an informal meeting of NATO member foreign
ministers on April 14, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. The principal focus of the two-day meeting
will be the alliances military involvement in the war in Libya, though it also includes
special roundtables on the alliances relationship to Russia, Ukraine and Georgia.
(Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Russia has warned NATO not to use excessive military force in Libya, and called for a political settlement to the conflict.

Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, said, "We think it is necessary to transfer the situation into the political field and to switch to political and diplomatic means of settling the problem.We think it is extremely important not to support the moves in favour of using excessive military force, because this will only lead to more civilian casualties."

The French Defense Minister has suggested a new UN resolution may be needed for NATO allies to achieve their goals in Libya.

NATO pilots are enforcing the current UN resolution to establish a no-fly zone and to protect civilians in Libya.

The country has effectively been split between forces supporting and opposing Gadhafi since a revolt against his rule began in mid-February.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: CNTV.CN

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