NATO calls emergency meeting on UN Libya resolution
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 18 /Trend/
NATO nations called an emergency meeting for Friday to discuss the alliance's response to the United Nations' call for military action to halt the conflict in Libya, NATO's spokeswoman confirmed, dpa reported.
The UN Security Council late Thursday decided to ban flights in Libyan airspace and authorized the use of military force to enforce the blockade, after NATO members Britain and France led a push for action to stop Colonel Moamer Gaddafi's crackdown on opponents.
Ambassadors of NATO states scheduled a meeting for 10.30 am (0930 GMT) on Friday "to discuss the implications of the resolution and advance planning for all eventualities," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in a statement.
NATO nations are divided on the need for a no-fly zone. Germany, which is currently a Security Council member, abstained in the Thursday vote, with its UN ambassador warning that the military option was "extremely difficult" for his country.
NATO defence ministers papered over their differences last week, saying any military action would require "a demonstrable need for the alliance to act, firm regional support and a clear legal basis."
Lungescu repeated those conditions on Friday, saying that NATO "stands ready to act as part of the broad international effort" if they are fulfilled.
"Firm regional support" has been widely interpreted as meaning the approval of the Arab League, which was granted Saturday. A "clear legal basis" has been interpreted as meaning UN backing.