NATO, EU to discuss military and economic options to resolve Libya crisis

March 10th, 2011 - 1:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar.10 (ANI): Ministers of European Union and NATO will meet to discuss options to deal with Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi as leaders ponder military and economic options to resolve the crisis in Libya.

The meeting will include defense ministers, foreign ministers and prime ministers or presidents for talks to shape the prospects for military intervention via a no-fly zone, humanitarian aid and economic props.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted a senior EU diplomat of Maumaar Gaddafi, as saying: “The policy is getting him to go as soon as possible.”

An anonymous source has said: “No one is expecting Gaddafi will melt away in the next few days, but we are developing a range of responses”

The EU’s 27 foreign ministers start the discussions when they arrive for talks preparing a full summit of leaders.

Britain and France are lobbying for a United Nations Security Council imprimatur for a no-fly zone. But Washington wants military action to be conducted under the banner of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, with Arab regional backing seen there as essential.

A top EU official said: “Some think this could protect civilians from aerial bombardment, others fear risks in terms of how it would play with Arab public opinion.”

The meetings follow a flurry of diplomatic activity that saw Tripoli send envoys to Europe, after Libyan rebels lobbied the European Parliament, and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe wooed support from China, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

The talks move across to NATO headquarters as the alliance’s 28 defence ministers gather for a presentation on the military options from US Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s supreme allied commander in Europe.

Top officials from the US and Britain have stressed that a decision will not be taken until a “demonstrable need” to use force to evict Gaddafi and a UN resolution or another “clear and proper legal basis” are each established.

Washington believes that NATO is the natural choice for any military action, but at the other end, while Turkey signed up to planning, Ankara has described the alliance going in as an “absurd” prospect. (ANI)

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