- Title: BELGIUM: NATO to send security experts to Libya
- Date: 4th June 2013
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (JUNE 4, 2013) (REUTERS) CAMERA FILMING RASMUSSEN REPORTERS U.S. DEFENCE SECRETARY CHUCK HAGEL ENTERING, GREETING REPORTERS TURKISH DEFENCE MINISTER ISMET YILMAZ ENTERING BUILDING CAMERA BY MAIN ENTRANCE NORWEGIAN DEFENCE MINISTER ANNE-GRETE STROM-ERICHSEN ENTERING BUILDING GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER PANOS PANAGIOTOPOULOS ENTERING BUILDING, GREETING REPORTERS
- Embargoed: 19th June 2013 13:00
- Location: Belgium
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA8AIOP00CO87KRQ0708ZG9KZMC
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Tuesday (June 4) that the Alliance has agreed to send experts to Libya after receiving a request from the Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan last week to provide the country with security training.
"Last week, the Libyan government requested NATO's advice in the security field. We have already moved fast to respond. Allies yesterday decided to send an expert level delegation to engage on the details of the request. The delegation will identify the areas in which NATO could add value and we are intent on coordinating closely with other national and international efforts. I expect the team to report back by the end of June," Rasmussen told reporters ahead of a defence ministers meeting in Brussels.
In Libya, NATO played a critical role in toppling Muammar Gaddafi two years ago by imposing a no-fly zone and using air power to try to prevent his forces attacking civilian areas held by rebels.
But Gaddafi's overthrow left Libya with a security vacuum that the new administration has found it difficult to fill. Now, many al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants are believed to have moved into lawless areas of southern Libya after being driven out of northern Mali by a French-led offensive.
Neighbouring Niger has said suicide raids that killed 25 people last month at an army base and desert uranium mine run by France's Areva were launched from Libya, something Libya denied.
U.S. defence officials said it made sense to consider using the expertise that NATO had gained during its involvement in training Afghan forces.
The defence minister's meeting will be the first for U.S.'s Chuck Hagel in his new role as defence secretary, although prior to becoming the Pentagon chief he chaired the Atlantic Council, a top think-tank on issues important to the Western alliance.
The meeting will also consider the scope of NATO support and training of Afghan forces after the full transfer of security authority from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force at the end of 2014, but no decision is expected.
The group will also hold its first meeting on cyber security.
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