NATO action in Libya not on the agenda, says Stoltenberg

(AGI) Rome, Feb 26 - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenbergsaid on Thursday during an official visit to Italy thatmilitary intervention by NATO in Libya is not on the agenda atthe moment. "Rather, it's about supporting the mediationefforts currently underway through the UN and special envoyLeon," Stoltenberg said after meeting the president of Italy'sChamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini. "Military interventions,like the one carried out by NATO in Libya in 2011 on thegrounds of a UN mandate, can have limited effects. It's vitalthat such interventions be followed by actions directed atpolitical reconstruction,

(AGI) Rome, Feb 26 - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenbergsaid on Thursday during an official visit to Italy thatmilitary intervention by NATO in Libya is not on the agenda atthe moment. "Rather, it's about supporting the mediationefforts currently underway through the UN and special envoyLeon," Stoltenberg said after meeting the president of Italy'sChamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini. "Military interventions,like the one carried out by NATO in Libya in 2011 on thegrounds of a UN mandate, can have limited effects. It's vitalthat such interventions be followed by actions directed atpolitical reconstruction, which, in Libya's case, were notpursued strongly enough by the international community."Meanwhile, during a telephone conversation with EU ForeignAffairs chief Federica Mogherini, Russian Foreign MinisterSergey Lavrov gave assurances that Moscow supports the renewedattempt by UN envoy Bernardino Leon to bring the variousparties in the Libyan conflict to the negotiation table. Lavrovnot only agrees with Leon's efforts towards dialogue, but alsosaid he would support him when the issue reaches the UNSecurity Council, Mogherini said after the talk. The Libyancrisis, Brussels said, will be the first item on the agenda atthe Informal Meeting of EU foreign ministers (Gymnich)scheduled for March 6 and 7 in Riga, leaving enough time toascertain whether Leon's last attempt will bear fruit. Buildingdialogue between the protagonists in the Libyan crisis will bethe first step in launching concrete measures against IslamicState (IS) militants in the country, and is therefore anobjective that the EU and Mogherini are intensely pursuing bypressing all four sides - the governments in Tripoli andTobruk, and the two militant groups in Misrata and Zintan thathelped bring about Gaddafi's downfall - to communicate. Europe,however, also has a "plan B" should these efforts fail,starting with taking over management of Libya's central bankbefore a possible round of sanctions. Ministers at the Gymnichwill therefore establish the EU's policy for Libya depending onthe outcome of the next few days. A Foreign Affairs Council anda summit between EU leaders will be held in Brussels thefollowing week, and Libya will once again be high on theagenda. . .