NATO chief rules out intervention in Syria, Iran

February 29th, 2012 - 8:56 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 29 (IANS) NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has ruled out the military alliance having any intention to intervene in Syria or Iran.

“It’s important for me to stress that NATO has no intention whatsoever to intervene in Syria,” Xinhua quoted the NATO secretary-general as saying during a press conference in Washington Tuesday.

Stating that the NATO was monitoring the situation closely and strongly condemns what is going on in Syria, Rasmussen said: “The only way forward in Syria is to accommodate the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, and introduce freedom and democracy.”

He commended the Arab League for its efforts to find a solution. “I do believe countries in the region should engage actively in finding a solution,” he added.

The NATO chief rejected a parallel with Libya, where NATO’s air raids helped the opposition topple Muammar Gaddafi and his government.

He said that in Libya, NATO had a “very clear” UN mandate and “active support” from a number of countries in the region. “None of these conditions are fulfilled in Syria,” he stressed.

On the West’s stand-off with Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, Rasmussen said: “I don’t think a military intervention is the right way forward.”

He said NATO as an alliance is not engaged in Iran, but supports the political and diplomatic efforts by its individual allies to find a solution, as well as urges the Iranian leadership to comply with their international obligations to relevant UN resolutions.

“But NATO has no intention whatsoever to intervene,” he said.

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