NATO delays meeting on ending Libya mission


From David Brunnstrom, Reuters: NATO has postponed until later this week a meeting that had been expected to formalise a decision to conclude the alliance’s Libya mission at the end of the month after Libyan officials called for it to be kept going for longer. . . .

Libya’s interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said on Wednesday NATO should stay involved in Libya until the end of this year to help prevent Muammar Gaddafi loyalists from leaving the country. . . .  

NATO ambassadors had been expected to meet on Wednesday to formalise a preliminary decision taken last week to end the mission on Oct. 31. NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero said this meeting had now been postponed.

"The North Atlantic Council will meet with partners on Friday to discuss our Libya mission and take a formal decision," she said, referring to NATO’s governing body.

Asked if NATO would stick to its decision to end the mission at the month-end, she said: "That is the preliminary decision of the NAC. The formal decision will be taken this week. . . ."

NATO has already begun winding down the mission, and diplomats have said the majority of NATO equipment, including fighter jets, has already been withdrawn.  (photo: NATO)

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