Spain not stepping up Libya role: minister

14th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spain will not step up its role in the military operation in Libya, Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said at a NATO meeting in Berlin, resisting pressure from alliance members France and Britain.

"Spain chose to provide capacity to monitor the arms embargo for a period of three months, and the no-fly zone," Jimenez told reporters.

"This is the force that Spain is providing and will continue providing in the future, which is the authorisation that was asked for in parliament," Jimenez said.

Spain has committed four F-18 fighter jets and a refueling aircraft to help enforce the no-fly zone and an F-100 frigate, an S-74 submarine and a CN-235 maritime surveillance plane to help enforce the arms embargo.

It has also allowed NATO to use two military bases, at Rota and at Moron de la Frontera in the south of the country. But it has not carried out air strikes.

France and Britain have been pressing other members of the 28-nation NATO military alliance to contribute combat jets to an air campaign against Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's forces.

After nearly a month of operations the campaign has so far failed to change the balance of power on the ground.

Only six out of NATO's 28 members are conducting air strikes while French and British warplanes are carrying out half of the flights, according to Paris.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article