NATO's Rasmussen to attend London meeting on Libya

28th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, head of the NATO alliance commanding military operations in Libya, will attend a London conference Tuesday discussing international moves in the north African nation.

A day after the 28-member alliance agreed to take full command of operations to enforce UN resolution 1973, Rasmussen's office said he "will travel to London to attend the Conference on Libya".

Foreign ministers from more than 35 countries have confirmed their attendance as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping.

The Foreign Office said all countries that had contributed militarily to the UN resolution approving "all necessary measures" to protect civilians in Libya would attend.

NATO on Sunday agreed to take over command of a coalition campaign launched March 19 by Britain, France and the United States to protect Libyan civilians from attack by Moamer Kadhafi's regime, with effective transfer expected to take two to three days.

The transfer of command from the US-led coalition will empower alliance forces to stage ground strikes to protect ordinary Libyans threatened by Kadhafi's army.

The transatlantic organisation is already running naval operations to prevent weapons and mercenaries from entering Libya, and had also agreed to enforce a no-fly zone to keep Kadhafi's jets on the ground.

© 2011 AFP

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