NATO extends mission in Libya

NATO will continue its military campaign in Libya until at least September, NATO Secretary General Andres Fogh Rasmussen said on Wednesday.

“We are determined to continue our operation to protect the people of Libya. We will sustain our efforts to fulfill the United Nations mandate. We will keep up the pressure to see it through,” Rasmussen said, adding that the allies would extend the presence in Libya for another 90 days.

Fourteen of the 28 NATO countries are taking part in the operation Unified Protector in Libya, which includes airstrikes, a no-fly zone and naval enforcement of an arms embargo in response to attacks on civilians.

“Our decision also sends a clear message to the people of Libya: NATO, our partners, the whole international community, stand with you. We stand united to make sure that you can shape your own future,” Rasmussen said.

Russia abstained in the Security Council vote authorizing the NATO-led military operation to protect civilians in the war-ravaged North African country, and has strongly criticized the alliance’s handling of the operation.

Western media reports claim the United States has suggested the Libyan rebels open a representative office in Washington.

MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti)

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