NATO foreign ministers to discuss Libya conflict at Berlin talks
NATO foreign ministers were due to discuss their military operation in Libya on Thursday, at talks in Berlin a day after the Libya Contact Group met in Doha, DPA reported.
Late Wednesday, Britain and France repeated their call for NATO to increase its military pressure on the forces of Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi.
But within the 28-member military alliance, Germany has led demands for a political, rather than a military solution to the conflict.
On Wednesday the Libya Contact Group said that a political solution was the only way out of the Libyan crisis, and called for Gaddafi's immediate departure from power. The meeting included around 20 states and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Speaking in Doha, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the bloc was successfully curbing Gaddafi's troops, but agreed that force alone would not end the conflict.
"There can clearly be no military solution. We need to set a political process in motion," Rasmussen said.
Alongside NATO's 28 foreign ministers, the Berlin meeting will be attended by the bloc's partner countries in the Libyan mission from across Europe and the Arab world.
Thursday's talks are also due to focus on NATO's ISAF mission in Afghanistan, where the transfer of security to local forces has been set in motion.
A meeting of the Middle East Quartet - the panel of international mediators comprising the European Union, the United States, the United Nations and Russia - scheduled on the margins of the NATO talks, was called off.
The meeting continues Friday, when NATO's 28 foreign ministers and their Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov are to discuss joint missile defence. Ministers will also address the situation in Georgia, with Foreign Minister Gregory Vashadze.