Press briefing on Libya
by Oana Lungescu, the NATO Spokesperson and by Wing Commander Mike Bracken, Operation ‘’Unified Protector’’ military spokesperson
Welcome back. And welcome to Wing Commander Mike Bracken, the spokesman of NATO’s Operation Unified Protector, who joins us from Naples to provide an operational update.
The Secretary General will be in Naples tomorrow to meet the commander of Operation Unified Protector, General Charlie Bouchard, and his staff. He will want to thank all the service men and women from allies and partners for a very successful operation. He will discuss the progress of the air and maritime campaigns enforcing the UN Resolutions to suport and protect the people of Libya. There was strong agreement around the council table today on several key points.
We are continuing to successfully fulfil the mandate -- the arms embargo is effective; the no-fly zone is effective; there are no coordinated attacks by regime forces against civilians and where we see an attack or the threat of attack, we take it out -- exactly as mandated by UN security council resolution 1973. And this is an extraordinarily precise operation, showing utmost respect for human life and and great care about civilian infrastructure.
So NATO and our partners are doing the job they were mandated to do -- that's the military job. And we will continue to do it until the three clear military goals have been met: an end to all attacks against civilians; the withdrawal of all regime forces to their bases; and full and unhindered humantiarian access. But clearly the overall aim canot be fulfilled by military means alone. We are helping to create the conditions for a political solution. But that is not NATO's job.
The main responsibility for political guidance rests with the Contact Group, which will meet next Friday in Istanbul -- under the co-chairmanship of Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. The Secretary General will represent NATO, which is part of the Contact Group. This is the fourth such meeting and we expect it to give a critical impetus to efforts to reach a political solution and to speed up preparations for a post-conflict Libya, in accordance with the legitimate aspirations of the people of Libyan.
And with that, over to you Mike in Naples.