Western nations backing the UN no-fly zone over Libya have agreed a role for NATO in the campaign but they will have to clarify the mission’s aims before winning wider support.
President Obama, who wants the US to take a back seat, has persuaded a reluctant France to accept the involvement of the alliance.
“I would expect that over the next several days we will have clarity and a meeting of the minds of all of those who are participating in the process. We are already seeing a significant reduction in the number of US planes that are involved in operations over Libya,” said Obama.
The UK is willing to accept a NATO command but wants to broaden out the international support for the resolution including more Arab involvement .
But at a meeting with the Saudi leadership, Britain’s Prime Minister failed to make a convincing argument.
In fact the Arab League and NATO member Turkey are looking to Thursday’s meeting of the UN Security Council to re-establish the perimeters of the mission, placing the emphasis more on the humanitarian rather than the military.
Meanwhile US intelligence has disclosed that people near to the Libyan leader are exploring exile options although it is unclear if Gaddafi would seriously contemplate stepping down