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NATO to discuss Libyan crisis; plan afoot to set up funding channel.

NATO foreign ministers will review the Libyan situation on Thursday, more than two weeks after the western military bloc took command of air strikes on pro-Gaddafi military bastions in strife-torn Libya.

The main focus of the discussion will be hammering out a cohesive plan for NATO's role in Libya even as member countries have expressed differing views. France and Britain, whose leaders met in Paris on Wednesday, favor boosting air attacks on Gaddafi's forces. London and Paris have also called for other major NATO countries like Italy and Spain to join the bloc's operations in Libya. However, Germany has been largely skeptical about finding a military solution to the Libyan crisis.

The talks, which will be held in Berlin, will also focus on issues like monitoring the arms embargo and enforcing the no-fly-zone, BBC reported.

Also in focus would be the British idea of setting up an international fund to provide financial assistance to the rebels who are reeling under vehement counter attacks by forces loyal to Gaddafi.

A meeting of what is called an 'international contact group' which supports the Libyan forces, was held in Doha on Wednesday. It was attended by British foreign secretary William Hague. The "contact group" includes Libyan rebels, Europe's NATO powers, Middle-Eastern allies of the Libyan rebels and the United States, besides international organizations.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said in Paris the UK will "make sure we are leaving no stone unturned in doing everything we can to enforce the UN resolution and protect civilians."

Hague said countries supporting the Libyan rebels should move forward quickly to ensure that there is a transparent mechanism for supporting the interim national council in meeting its public sector costs. "So I hope we can agree to set up a temporary financial mechanism in the region for the benefit of the interim national council-controlled areas of Libya," he said.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:6LIBY
Date:Apr 14, 2011
Words:312
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