NATO’s participation in the training of Libyan security forces and the reintegration of armed militias was one of the proposals on the table of the Atlantic Alliance foreign ministers meeting in Brussels this morning a few hours from the attack on the French embassy in Tripoli. Premier and interim Foreign Minister Mario Monti expressed Italy’s solidarity in the face of the attack against the French mission, for which NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed firm condemnation.
Multiply efforts at democratic transition in Libya, says Monti
The Tripoli attack “shows that it is necessary to multiply efforts to support the democratic transition and isolate extremists”, added Monti who, then referring to North Korea, remarked on the importance of the fact that NATO, along with other international forums, “has condemned the unacceptable behaviour” of Pyongyang, which “destablises not only the region but also the entire nuclear non-proliferation system”. The case of North Korea was one of the themes discussed in a ministerial meeting that had a special focus on the crises in Syria and Africa, as well as the future of the Afghanistan mission after 2014.
Investment of human lives and resources in Afghanistan
Referring to Afghanistan, Monti observed that the Atlantic Alliance had to “assess what our future commitment might be, consistent with the efforts thus far spent”, also because, although “our presence and intervention in that country cannot go on indefinitely, no one wants to see the investment in human lives, resources and hard work go to waste”.
Rasmussen: Extreme concern over possible use of chemical weapons in Syria
Finally, the ministerial meeting’s major focus was on the Syrian crisis, and above all on the possible use of chemical weapons by the Damascus government. NATO does not have “a direct role” in the Syrian crisis, Rasmussen pointed out, but in light of the possible use of chemical weapons and ballistic missiles, the Alliance “is able to ensure its readiness to defend and protect its allies”, and that “plans are ready for the effective defence” of Turkey. The alarm sounded by Israel that Syria was using chemical agents has not yet been confirmed, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry specified, reporting on what he had been told by Israeli Premier Benyamin Netanyahu. But the threat of such attacks remains and NATO itself has announced “extreme concern” in this regard.