Thursday, March 31, 2011

The secretary general of NATO, as opposed to arming rebels

The NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday rejected the arming the rebels and has made clear that NATO assumes command of all operations in Libya in order to protect civilians Libyans. "We are there to protect the Libyan people, not to arm people," said a group of reporters in Stockholm, Swedish public radio reported, Sveriges Radio.

Rasmussen has acknowledged being aware of the debate that is taking place in capitals but has insisted that NATO, which on Thursday has taken formal control of all operations in Libya, will focus on enforcing the embargo. "We will focus on implementing the arms embargo," he assured. Also the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that does not support the idea of arming the rebels.

"Doing that would create a different situation in Libya and do not see appropriate," he told a press conference in London with British Prime Minister, David Cameron. Both Cameron and President Barack Obama, have said this week he would not rule out the possibility of arming the Libyan National Council, which comprises the bulk of the opposition to the regime of Moammar Gadhafi and considered that this option does not necessarily require that you authorize the Security Council with a new UN resolution, passed despite an arms embargo on Libya.

Although the French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppe, has acknowledged that arming the rebels beyond resolution 1973 [Read the resolution in PDF] has said that the French Government is ready to discuss this issue with other partners involved in the implementation of the resolution. Spanish Foreign Minister, Trinidad Jiménez, also warned London that the UN has established an arms embargo that applies to both parties, so that, in his view, would require a new resolution to give weapons to the rebels.

Also, Russia, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Belgium have not hidden their reluctance to arm the rebels.

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