NATO extends Libyan Mission against Qaddafi by 90 days

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary-General

NATO said on Wednesday it had extended its Libyan mission for a further 90 days, after Muammar Qadhafi made it clear he would not step down, dashing hopes of a negotiated end to the uprising against his rule.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s top official announced Wednesday that the alliance had agreed to extend its mission in Libya.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary-General, said the agreement to extend the mission for a further 90 days was agreed on by NATO and its partner countries in the operation. “This decision sends a clear message to the Gadhafi regime: We are determined to continue our operation to protect the people of Libya,” he said in a statement.

“We will keep up the pressure to see it through,” he said.

The initial decision in March to lead the military operation, following a United Nations resolution aimed at protecting civilians, was for a 90-day period. The decision to extend the mission for a further 90 days from June 27 was made at a meeting Wednesday morning of the alliance’s policy-making body, the North Atlantic Council, together with representatives from non-NATO countries: the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Sweden and Morocco.

Qaddafi will either be removed by force or he flees the country for some place like Venezuela for asylum.  Either way he won’t be ruling Libya in the medium to long term especially that more military hardware is being deployed against him and his forces.

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