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Press briefing on Libya

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

10 Jun. 2011

Press briefing on Libya

by NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu and Mike Bracken, Spokesperson for the Operation Unified Protector

OANA LUNGESCU (NATO Spokesperson): Good afternoon and welcome to this operational briefing on operation Unified Protector. As ever, we have the operation's military spokesman, wing Commander Mike Bracken, joining us from Naples.

Just a few words from me to start off. As you know NATO defence ministers this week made clear they are determined to fuflil the mandate of the Untied Nations, and to provide all the resources that are needed for as long as they are necessary to accomplish our mission. This is of course the military track. On the political track the International Contact Group on Libya met in Abu Dhabi yesterday. NATO was represented by the Assistant secretary for political affairs Dirk Brengelmann. The statement of the co-chairs made clear that Consensus is growing around the world that the time has come to open a new chapter in Libya's history. Qadhafi must go; he has lost all legitimacy and must draw all the consequences by relinquishing power. Participants appreciated the effective role played by the NATO-led Operation Unified Protector in protecting the civilian population from Qadhafi's attacks and in achieving the goals of UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973. They welcomed the decision to extend the NATO-operation by 90 days and the increased national contributions to the operation. They also encouraged further contributions to NATO's efforts.

Finally, the Contact Group agreed on the necessity to reinforce international pressure in order to accelerate a political solution to the crisis, and confirmed its determination to use any legitimate means to put an end to the violence in Libya. The ongoing political, economic and military pressure is having a strong impact on the solidity of Qadhafi's hold on power... The Contact Group also made clear that militarily, regime forces have suffered several defeats and have lost control of territory, and NATO has intensified airstrikes on the regime's command and control sites in and around Tripoli.

So this is what the Contact group had to say, now we can go straight to Naples and wing-commander Mike Bracken for today's operational update.

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