Clinton: NATO aims to oust Kadhafi

14th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that NATO was united in seeking an end to Moamer Kadhafi's rule in Libya as the Western alliance faced divisions over the military campaign.

Clinton, meeting German Chancelor Angela Merkel at the start of two days of NATO talks in Berlin, said that the alliance had common work in areas including Afghanistan and seeking a world without nuclear weapons.

"We are also sharing the same goal which is to see the end of the Kadhafi regime in Libya. And we are contributing in many ways in order to see that goal realized," Clinton said.

France and Britain, which spearheaded the drive for action to stop Kadhafi's attacks on his own people, have been pushing for NATO partners to share the burden of the military campaign.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has said he would raise his concerns during the Berlin talks Thursday and Friday.

A senior US official traveling with Clinton tried to play down disagreements, saying that military commanders had not asked for more firepower.

"I don't think there is a rift," the official said on condition of anonymity. "The targets that are out there are being hit."

"If the commanders need more capability, they will ask for it. They haven't asked for it," the official said.

The official said the NATO meeting -- the latest international meeting after talks in Qatar on Wednesday -- would aim to build a consensus the goals of the Libya campaign.

"The main focus of the meeting ... will be to focus on the military aspects of the operation," he said.

The talks will "try to define in more precise terms what it is that we're seeking to achieve through the military campaign," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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