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Obama hints at willingness to arm Libya's rebels

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Obama hints at willingness to arm Libya's rebels


To arm or not to arm Libya’s rebels? That is the question facing the US and its allies conducting air strikes against Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.

For Washington, that possibility is covered by the UN resolution: “I think that it is fair to say that if we wanted to get weapons into Libya, we probably could,” President Barack Obama said in an interview on US television.

More reports from our correspondent:

“We are looking at all our options at this point. But keep in mind what we have accomplished. We have instituted a no-fly zone that can be sustained for quite some time because it is an international effort,” he added.

France, too, has raised the possibility of arming the rebels. But, after a show of unity at Tuesday’s coalition conference in London, NATO’s Secretary-General seems to have very different ideas.

NATO has decided to participate in the enforcement of the arms embargo so we are there to protect people, not to arm people,” said Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The United States is scaling back to a “supporting role” to let NATO take full command of the air campaign from US forces. The alliance insists the handover is moving ahead as planned, denying reports of a delay.

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