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NATO Chief Confident Of More Planes Soon For Libya Mission


NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says he has not yet received specific pledges for more aircraft needed for the alliance's Libya mission but that he expects the additional planes soon.

Rasmussen spoke in Berlin on April 15 after two days of meetings with NATO foreign ministers.

NATO's military commander has said the alliance needs more ground-attack aircraft to carry out the precision strikes necessary to attack forces of Muammar Qaddafi while avoiding civilian casualties.

Libyan rebels have called for more air strikes, saying they faced a massacre from government forces.

Also today, the European Union and NATO discussed their coordination for a potential EU military mission to deliver urgent humanitarian aid to Libya's besieged rebel city of Misrata.

The EU has yet to make any final decision on a mission to Libya, which would likely include the deployment of ships.

Any mission would need the green light from the United Nations.

On April 14, NATO foreign ministers agreed the alliance would continue its Libya mission as long as was needed.

The leaders of Britain, France, and the United States have also vowed to continue the military campaign in Libya until Muammar Qaddafi leaves power.

In a jointly-written article published in newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Barack Obama said leaving Qaddafi in power would be an "unconscionable betrayal" of the Libyan people.

compiled from agency reports