It is up to Gadhafi to decide enough is enough: NATO

Updated: 2011-05-18 08:31


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BRUSSELS - NATO's most senior military official said on Tuesday that it was up to Muammar Gadhafi to decide "enough is enough" and the alliance would continue its airstrikes until the Libyan leader respects the UN resolution.

In an interview with Xinhua, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, the chairman of NATO's Military Committee, said that the alliance would end the Libya mission, dubbed Unified Protector, "once Gadhafi stop attacking his own people, withdraw his forces in a verifiable manner...allow unimpeded humanitarian assistance."

"We will stop when these conditions are met. It is up to Gadhafi to decide enough is enough," he said.

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However, he said Gadhafi was not a target for NATO forces.

The chairman declined to predict how long the NATO operation would last, saying the alliance is committed to continue military strikes "until Gadhafi respects the resolution."

Di Paola denied that the mission in Libya, which the alliance say aims to protect civilians, enforce an arms embargo and no-fly zone as set out by the UN resolution, was facing a stalemate.

"All three aspects of the resolution has been very successfully implemented. We are continuing to implement it," he said.

He said that if there were no NATO operation in Libya, "we would have seen killing of civilians in thousands.

In addition, Di Paola dismissed concerns that Libya would become another Afghanistan-like mission for NATO.

"Now, it is up to the Libyan to decide their future, to decide who is to rule their country...I am confident that we are creating conditions for the Libyan people to decide their own future," he said.

"There is no military solution for this and in the end there will be a political solution. But the military action by the coalition is necessary for creating condition for the political solution to be found."

Di Paola said the Libya operation, which is beyond the alliance's traditional areas of defense, was part of NATO's mission concerning the crisis management.

"We do this on behalf of the international community... Always, all of our expeditionary missions are within the framework of international legitimacy and the United Nations resolution," he said.


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