NATO to meet Friday to decide involvement in Libya


From the Wall Street Journal:  NATO ambassadors were set to meet Friday morning to decide on involvement in the operation, diplomats said. NATO involvement in military action is possible, a European diplomat said, but since NATO is a consensus organization, the abstention by Germany at the U.N. and possible objection from Turkey could be obstacles.

German Ambassador Peter Witting told the council that Germany wouldn’t contribute to the mission with its own forces.

From Sky News:  "NATO wants these operational plans to be ready by the end of the week or early next week," an alliance diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the planning.

The alliance "is accelerating the preparations, but no green light has been given," the diplomat said. …

NATO has narrowed its military options to three plans: assisting humanitarian relief efforts, enforcing an arms embargo and grounding the Libyan air force, diplomats said. …

Divided over acting in Libya, and with its hands full leading the war in Afghanistan, NATO could end up sidelined in any military action in the North African country.

France, which has taken a hawkish stance in the Libyan crisis, even favouring bombings of sensitive Libyan military targets, "does not want NATO in the front line," a NATO military official said.

The French government would prefer to take military action with Britain and Arab nations.

In addition, the United States has shown ‘little enthusiasm’ in trying to bring Turkey and Germany in line with the rest of the alliance, the military official said. …

Even if the UN approves a no-fly zone and all allies agree to back the move, it would take two weeks for NATO to be operational, the NATO military official said, adding: "The chances that NATO will have a role are minimal."  (photo: NATO)

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