Global General

Turkey wants quick end to Libya intervention

Updated: 2011-03-21 20:20
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ANKARA -- Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said Monday it was the UN's decision, not NATO's, to set up a no-fly zone over Libya, indicating again Turkey's reluctance to support NATO intervention against Libya.

"This is a decision of the UN and not NATO," Gonul told reporters when receiving his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Konjanovski here, referring to the resolution passed by the UN Security Council last week on endorsing a no-fly zone over Libya and authorizing "all necessary measures" to protect civilians there.

Gonul said participation in the UN operation in Libya was on a voluntary basis and that the UN did not demand any combat forces for the operation.

"We have difficulty in understanding France's leading role in using force against Libya," he said, adding Libya was progressing towards an internal crisis.

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France, Britain and the United States, also NATO members, have been carrying out strikes individually on Libyan targets since Saturday.

Following a marathon run of meetings in Brussels, NATO ambassadors failed to agree on how the alliance would participate in enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya on Sunday.

Turkey has voiced support for the UN resolution but remained averse to NATO intervention.

The 28-nation organization, in which all members have veto power, is expected to continue discussion Monday on the matter.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday urged for an end of military operation and stability to be restored in Libya as soon as possible.

"We want that Libya to determine its future with its own will," he was quoted by the Anatolia news agency as saying during his visit in Saudi Arabia.

Erdogan will meet Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and high- level officials of the General Staff, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Intelligence Organization after his arrival from Saudi Arabia on Monday to discuss the Libya crisis.

Diplomatic sources said that Turkey had given priority to the issues of evacuation of Turkish citizens from Libya, international legitimacy and leadership of the regional countries, according to Anatolia.