NATO to send expert team to Libya to assess aid request
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said ahead of the start Tuesday’s (4 June 2013) NATO Defence Ministerial that Allied nations have decided to send an expert-level delegation to Libya to identify areas where NATO can provide assistance. “Last week the Libyan government requested NATO’s advice in the security field. We have already moved fast to respond,” the Secretary General said.
The team of experts is expected to leave as soon as possible and report back to NATO by the end of June “so we can decide on the way ahead,” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said. He said that three principles would guide any help NATO provides. These include strong Libyan ownership, providing advice in areas where NATO has an expertise, such as building security institutions. “And thirdly let me stress this is not about deploying troops to Libya. If we are to engage in training activities such activities could take place outside Libya,” said the Secretary General. The team would together with the Libyans identify the areas in which the Libyans think they need advice and areas where NATO can add value in building security institutions. The delegation will coordinate closely with other national and international efforts. “I believe this would be a fitting way to continue our cooperation with Libya, after we successfully took action to protect the Libyan people two years ago,” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said.
The announcement came just ahead of the start of the two-day ministerial which will focus on cyber defence, the mission in Afghanistan and military capabilities. A meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission will also feature on the agenda. The ministerial will start with a working session on Allied capabilities and assess progress in filling key capability gaps. A separate session is planned entirely devoted to cyber defence, during which the ministers are expected to take stock of existing measures to protect NATO networks and examine areas where Allies can cooperate further. Meetings on Afghanistan and Georgia are planned for Wednesday.