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NATO Expresses Deep Concern in Libya; Military Approach Not a Solution: Stoltenberg

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has expressed deep concern in Libya, with the organization’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg saying the military approach is not the answer for resolving the current crisis.

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Stoltenberg said armed clashes in Libya have deepened the wounds of the Libyan people. He called on the parties to the table for discussions. “The NATO is ready to support the establishment of security institutions in Libya and we can do so at the request of the Libyan government.”

The Secretary-General stressed that NATO is prepared to help Libya build effective security institutions, including a modern Ministry of Defence and effective security services under the civilian control of the government. Stoltenberg reiterated that the current conflict is increasing the suffering of the Libyan people and putting civilian lives at risk.

The military intervention had been authorized by the former US President Barack Obama’s administration in 2011. The goal was to save lives of peaceful, pro-democracy protesters who found themselves the target of a crackdown by the then Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi. US intelligence sources said Qaddafi was posed to commit a bloodbath in the Libyan city where the uprising had started. Foreign Affairs states that two days after the United Nations authorization, the US and other NATO countries established a no-fly zone throughout Libya and started bombing Qaddafi’s forces.

However, NATO’s actions magnified the conflict’s duration about sixfold and its death toll at least sevenfold, while also exacerbating human rights abuses, humanitarian suffering, Islamic radicalism, and weapons proliferation in Libya and its neighbours. Moreover, reports have falsified US intelligence as the UN and Amnesty International have documented that in all four Libyan cities initially consumed by civil conflict in mid-February 2011 – Benghazi, Al Bayda, Tripoli and Misurata – ‘violence was actually initiated by the protesters’. The Libyan government responded to the rebels militarily but never intentionally targeted civilians or resorted to ‘indiscriminate’ force, as claimed by Western media.

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