Statement on Libya
following the working lunch of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs with non-NATO contributors to Operation Unified Protector
Today, we, the Foreign Ministers of the Allies and operational partners participating in NATO-led Operation Unified Protector (OUP) in support of the enforcement of UNSC Resolution 1973, met in Berlin to discuss the situation in Libya and our joint efforts in support of broader international community objectives with regard to Libya. The valuable contributions made by OUP partners demonstrate broad-based support for this operation. NATO will continue to coordinate its actions in close consultation with the United Nations, other regional actors and international organizations
We deplore the continuing violence and atrocities in Libya perpetrated by the regime against its own people, which have resulted in a very serious humanitarian situation, particularly in cities under siege. We underline the need for the regime to restore water, gas, electricity and other services to areas that have been brutalized by regime forces and to permit full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all the people of Libya in need of assistance. Qadhafi and his regime have lost all legitimacy through their comprehensive and repeated refusal to abide by UNSC Resolutions 1970 and 1973.
We welcome the outcome of the first meeting of the Contact Group which took place yesterday in Doha and strongly endorse its call for Qadhafi to leave power and its steadfast commitment to implement UNSCRs 1970 and 1973. We commend its role in providing wider political guidance for international efforts in Libya, recognizing that the political direction of the military mission is executed by the North Atlantic Council, with the indispensable involvement of its OUP partners. We reiterate our adherence to the strong commitments made at the London Conference by the international community to help end the violence and to support the Libyan people and their legitimate aspirations.
NATO-led forces are taking robust action to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack in Libya and enforcing the No-Fly Zone and arms embargo authorized by UNSCR 1973. We pay tribute to the skill, bravery and professionalism of our men and women in uniform carrying out this difficult task. We will continue to adapt our military actions to achieve maximum effect in discharging our mandate to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas. To this end, we are committed to provide all necessary resources and maximum operational flexibility within our mandate. A high operational tempo against legitimate targets will be maintained and we will exert this pressure as long as necessary and until the following objectives are achieved:
- All attacks and threats of attack against civilians and civilian-populated areas have ended;
- The regime has verifiably withdrawn to bases all military forces, including snipers, mercenaries and other para-military forces, including from all populated areas they have forcibly entered, occupied or besieged throughout all of Libya, including Ajdabiyah, Brega, Jadu, al Jebal al Gharbiyah, Kikla, Misrata, Nalut, Raslanuf, Yefrin, Zawiyah, Zintan and Zuara;
- The regime must permit immediate, full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all the people in Libya in need of assistance.
We remain committed to the full implementation of UNSC Resolutions 1970 and 1973. In carrying out our mission, we reaffirm our support to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya. We reiterate our strong support for the development of a transparent political solution as the only way to bring an end to the crisis and build lasting peace in Libya and a better future for the Libyan people.