Rasmussen: Nato has no plans to return to Libya

January 27, 2012

Rasmussen - NATO

Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday said that the alliance would not return to Libya following reports that former rebels were forming new military units in the country.

“We operated on the basis of a UN mandate and I want to stress that we terminated our operations in Libya on 31 October last year and our mission has been completed and we have no intention to return to Libya,” Rasmussen said, quoted by Kuwait news Agency (Kuna).

Rasmussen said that Nato, as an institution, was not involved in the talks over the Iranian nuclear issue and threats to close the Strait of Hormuz. “Obviously we follow the situation closely and some statements from the Iranian leadership are of course a matter of concern,” he said during his monthly press conference.

However, he urged “the Iranian leadership to live up to its international commitments including stop the enrichment programme and ensure free navigation in the Strait of Hormuz.” Rasmussen also launched today the first ‘Annual Report’, which gives a brief overview of NATO’s principal achievements and challenges in 2011.

“In 2011, our alliance faced many tough tests, perhaps more than ever before,” the Secretary General said.

“The good news is that we got very good results,” Kuna quoted him as saying. Citing examples, Rasmussen pointed to Afghanistan where he said ISAF forces weakened the insurgency while boosting the number of Afghan security forces to over 300,000. He said that Taliban attacks fell by 9 per cent in 2011 and that the transition was on track to be completed by the end of 2014. Nato conducted a successful operation over Libya and achieved successes in the fight against piracy off Somalia where Nato forces helped to halve the number of vessels captured by pirates.

Referring to the Chicago summit in May, he said that Nato would will have to shape an alliance which is capable of overcoming the economic crisis while continuing to guarantee security.

“We must make sure our Alliance stays committed to our shared security and our shared values. We must stay capable of dealing with current threats and future crises. And we must become more connected with partners around the world partners who also share our values, and our determination to protect them,” he said.

Nato had not made much progress in talks with Russia on a Nato missile system in Europe, and no summit will be held with Russia in Chicago if no deal is reached by then, he said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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