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London agreement sends strong message, says NATO Secretary General

Creation in London of an international Contact Group on Libya is a strong expression of international community support for the Libyan people’s wish for freedom, democracy and human rights, says NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The group will give political guidance to the international community's actions in response to the Libyan crisis.

The London conference brought together more than 40 Foreign Ministers and representatives from key international and regional organisations.

‘NATO is playing its role as part of the broad international effort. A number of NATO partner nations have already indicated that they wish to participate in our operation off the coast and in the air above Libya’, Mr Rasmussen said at the Conference. ‘We also have tried-and-tested arrangements for ensuring that these partners are fully involved in the decision-shaping’.

NATO has long-standing relations with partner countries from the region, notably through its Mediterranean Dialogue programme and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. Regular political consultations with the United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League, the African Union and other key players have been taking place since the beginning of the Libyan crisis.

On 27 March 2011, NATO agreed to take on the full military operation protecting the Libyan people under threat of attack, through the full implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973. ‘The way forward is not violence, but a peaceful transition to democracy as soon as possible,’ Mr Rasmussen insisted.

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