NATO defence ministers have begun two days of talks in Brussels to discuss the alliance’s options to the turmoil in Libya. They’ll include a possible no-fly zone. But both the US and Britain are playing down any possibility of an early decision.
All members are agreed they want to see a demonstrable need to act before doing so.
Nato Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said:
“We are not looking to intervene in Libya, but we do the necessary planning to be prepared for all eventualities if requested.”
Enforcing a no-fly zone requires knocking out Libya’s air defences, that amounts to military intervention – not to be considered lightly.
Euronews asked Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, who is president of NATO’s military council, if a no-fly zone needed the same legal basis as any other military action in order to be taken. He told us:
“As it has been said very clearly, there needs to be a proper legal framework, and the understanding of this proper legal framework is a United Nations Security Council resolution.”
In fact France prefers the United Nations route to sanction a no fly zone rather than emphasising NATO’s involvement which it says has an aggressive reputation among Arab nations in the region.