US defense chief: NATO not ready to act on no-fly

AP News
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Posted: Mar 10, 2011 1:37 PM
US defense chief: NATO not ready to act on no-fly

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the NATO alliance will pursue planning for a possible no-fly zone over Libya but is not ready to act on that or any other military action against the North African nation.

Gates told reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels, following a meeting of alliance defense ministers, that unspecified NATO ships will be moved closer to Libya to be in position in case urgent humanitarian aid to Libyan civilians is required.

But he made clear that NATO is not interested in direct military intervention in Libya unless the U.N. Security Council passes a further resolution granting such authority.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made much the same point in Washington, telling Congress that unilateral military action would have unintended consequences.