Global General

No military solution to Libya: NATO chief

Updated: 2011-04-14 17:16
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No military solution to Libya: NATO chief
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (L) is welcomed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the start of NATO foreign ministers meeting in Berlin April 14, 2011. [Photo/Agencies] 

BERLIN - There is no military solution to the Libyan conflicts and NATO hopes to see a political one in the near future, the alliance's head, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said just ahead of the foreign ministers' gathering on Thursday.

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"The honest answer is that there is no military solution to this conflict. We need a political solution, and it's up to the Libyan people to come up with one...I very much hope that we will be able to find a political solution in the near future," Rasmussen told German weekly Spiegel.

"The worst outcome would be a military stalemate or a de facto partition of Libyan society, in which Libya would become a failed state and a breeding ground of terrorist groups -- and that so close to Europe's borders," the NATO chief warned.

As for providing humanitarian aid to Libya, Rasmussen insisted that the alliance will not assume a leading role, saying the United Nations should coordinate, with the support of the European Union (EU).

Foreign ministers from 28 NATO countries are meeting in Berlin on Thursday and Friday, with the Libyan conflicts high on their agenda.

During their talks, the ministers will try to bridge their sharp differences over the scope of the NATO-led military campaign against Libya, after French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and his British counterpart William Hague publicly pressed their NATO allies to step up air raids in Libya.