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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

U.K. foreign secretary wants bigger NATO role in Libya

RIA Novosti

16:29 12/04/2011 MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) - NATO allies should step up their efforts to protect Libyans from Muammar Gaddafi's forces, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday.

Anti-Gaddafi insurgents said NATO did not provide enough support for them.

"We must maintain and intensify our efforts in NATO. That is why the U.K. has in the last week supplied additional aircraft for striking ground targets threatening the civilian population of Libya," Hague told EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg.

Earlier on Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that NATO had not done its best to defend Libyans.

Hague said that NATO would stop its attacks on Libyan forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi if the regime pulls back from Ajdabiya, Misrata, and Zawiya, giving a green light to humanitarian assistance.

"It includes disengaging from the towns and cities in which Gaddafi's forces are attacking the civilian population. It means a real ceasefire, a genuine ceasefire. Twice the regime has announced a ceasefire, but has continued to bombard the people of Misrata and many other locations," he said.

Ali Aujali, former Libyan ambassador to the United States and leader of the opposition Transitional National Council said the insurgents in the embattled city of Misrata needed help from the allies.

Rebels in Libya have been fighting forces loyal to Gaddafi since mid-February. A NATO-led operation is enforcing a no-fly zone over the country in an attempt to prevent Gaddafi loyalists from attacking civilians.

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