Netherlands may join NATO operation against Libya

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The Netherlands may send F-16 fighter planes, a minesweeper HNLMS Haarlem and a refuelling plane to help the international military operation in Libya according to sources. The Dutch government is meeting on Tuesday evening to take decisions over the Dutch contribution to a NATO mission in Libya. The sources were unable to say how many F16s may join the operation.

Earlier today, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced that NATO would enforce the weapon embargo against Libya. It is the first time all 28 NATO countries have reached agreement over the crisis in Libya. A unanimous decision is needed for NATO to take action.

NATO also has plans for monitoring the no-fly zone above Libya. At the moment a coalition of international forces is enforcing the no-fly zone.

Defence Minister Hans Hillen, who was in parliament for a debate over piracy, declined to comment on the Dutch contribution to the operation. He said, "First we'll have a cabinet meeting. I don't want to speak out of turn."

The HNLMS Haarlem is in the Mediterranean for a NATO exercise.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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