Friday, April 29, 2011

NATO will send in Benghazi to strengthen contacts with rebels

Brussels. .- The Atlantic Alliance agreed today to permanently send a political representative of the rebel stronghold Libya, Benghazi, in order to strengthen its contacts with the opposition to the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. "The allies have agreed the principles for establishing a contact point in Benghazi," Efe said organization spokeswoman Carmen Romero, who explained that the objective of the measure is to improve communication between NATO and the National Transitional Council ( CNT).

Although details of the appointment were not defined today by the Allied ambassadors and should be agreed in the coming days, it is likely that the envoy is a diplomat of a country of the organization already working in Benghazi, according to a NATO source . The move comes after the past few weeks have intensified contacts between NATO and the CNT, which have included an interview with the secretary general partner, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, with the main rebel envoy Mahmoud Jibril, April 13 .

Since the beginning of its military campaign in Libya, the allied commanders have insisted that its mandate does not allow them to take part in any of the factions fighting in the country and that their actions are limited to protecting civilians from threats . So, at first rejected NATO contacts with the rebels, a lack of communication that caused a couple of incidents in which bombs accidentally killed allied fighters of the opposition.

Recently, however, the Alliance seems to have given a twist to its strategy. According to Romero, the presence of a representative in Benghazi will be used in support of Operation Unified Guard "and also of possible political solutions to conflict. Theses seem imposed and some NATO partners led by France, who have expressed unequivocal support for the rebels.

France was the first government to recognize the Transitional National Council as the only valid interlocutor Libya, a move that followed after Italy, but other countries have been unwilling to give. All members of NATO agree that Gadhafi has lost any legitimacy, but the degree of support for the rebels has been divided since the beginning of the discussions at twenty members.

The different interpretations that make the resolution 1973 Security Council United Nations has contributed to the fracture. Some countries interpret for example, that despite an arms embargo imposed on Libya, the text does not stop providing military equipment to the opposition, a point that rejects other capitals.

For now, France, Italy and the UK, members of the Alliance, have announced their intention to send military experts to Libya to assist rebels in their fight against Gaddafi. Meanwhile, allied aircraft have hardened in recent days their offensive against the forces of the regime in Tripoli, which is accused of indiscriminate attacks on civilians.

Despite insisting that its role is not to force a regime change, the intention of NATO to maintain military pressure on Gaddafi until he leaves office, believing that the threat against the people will not go away until that happens . So what ally said after meeting Secretary-General on 15 April with the foreign ministers of the organization and the leaders of France, the United States and United Kingdom, the three countries that have developed the bulk of the attacks.

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