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Press briefing on Libya by Carmen Romero, the NATO Deputy Spokesperson and Colonel Roland Lavoie, Operation ‘’Unified Protector’’ military spokesperson

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

26 Jul. 2011

Press briefing on Libya

by Carmen Romero, the NATO Deputy Spokesperson and Colonel Roland Lavoie, Operation ‘’Unified Protector’’ military spokesperson

Carmen Romero (NATO Deputy Spokesperson): Good afternoon, and welcome back to NATO. Welcome also to Colonel Roland Lavoie, military spokesman for Operation Unified Protector, who will give you an operational update in a moment.

Before I hand over to Roland, there are two brief points I would like to make.

First, on Libya. NATO Allies and our partners are following developments in the country closely. Our mission is to prevent attacks and threats against civilians. And nations are absolutely determined to continue that mission.

We have made it clear that there has to be a political solution to this crisis. But we have made it equally clear that our military operation will continue for as long as it is needed. Qadhafi cannot wait us out.

And as long as his forces continue to attack or threaten civilians, and as long as they continue to try and cut off humanitarian aid, our operations will continue.

Second, on Afghanistan. Over the last week, the Afghan security forces have formally taken the security lead in seven provinces and districts.

This is an important milestone which puts almost a quarter of the Afghan population under the protection of the Afghan National Security Forces. NATO and partner forces continue to support them, but in those areas, the Afghans are in the lead. This is what transition is all about.

This is part of our agreed strategy. And it is a significant step towards our shared goal of seeing Afghans in the lead across the country by the end of 2014.

NATO congratulates the Afghans on the progress they have made so far. And we will continue to stand by them as they take responsibility for more and more of their country.

With that, I will hand over to Roland in Naples. Roland, the floor is yours.



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