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Joint press briefing on events concerning Libya

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

12 Apr. 2011

by the NATO Deputy Spokesperson, Carmen Romero and by Brigadier General Mark van Uhm, Chief of Allied Operations, Allied Command Operations (Opening remarks)

Carmen Romero (Deputy Spokesperson): Good afternoon, and welcome to NATO headquarters in Brussels. I’m joined today by General Marc Van Uhm from SHAPE, who you already know, to update you on our military operations related to Libya.

Let me first provide you with a short update on ongoing political events.

We believe that the coordinated approach pursued by NATO, along with our partners from the United Nations, from the region, the African Union and the EU, remains the right response to the crisis in Libya.

Therefore the Secretary General of NATO will join the meeting of the Contact Group in Doha tomorrow. His presence in Doha shows how committed the Alliance is to a political and comprehensive solution to the crisis in Libya.

At the same time, in Brussels, the Alliance continues its political consultations. Tomorrow, Wednesday, the North Atlantic Council will meet with our six operational partners to discuss the latest developments in Libya and to finalise preparations for the Foreign Ministers meeting in Berlin next Thursday and Friday.

NATO has been clear and consistent: there cannot be a purely military solution but we will continue to implement the UN Security Council Resolution with vigour and determination as long as there is a threat to civilians.

But we should be in no doubt about the situation on the ground in Libya. Colonel Gaddafi’s forces are continuing to target the civilian population as we speak.

Gaddafi’s regime is attacking civilians who want their own voice.

Gaddafi is attacking civilians who want to choose their own future as set out by the UN Security Council resolutions. NATO is protecting those civilians.

And without NATO’s efforts, even more civilians would be suffering.

I would now like to hand over to General von Uhm to provide the military update.

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