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NATO boss calls for emergency summit over Libya situation

Secretary General of the military alliance Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced an emergency meeting of the NATO council to determine the course of action over the situation in Libya.

Speaking at the informal session of EU defense ministers in Hungary, he highlighted the importance of evacuation and the opportunities to provide humanitarian aid. “It is too early to go into details, but NATO has numerous means through which it can take action in similar situations,” he said.

On Thursday, Rasmussen envisioned steps, such as introducing a no-fly zone over Libya and he also did not discard the possibility of military action in the North African nation.

The European Union is closely monitoring developments in Libya, said Hungarian Defense Minister Csaba Hende in his opening address of the meeting. At the same time he reminded that the NATO agreement does not allow direct military involvement. The northern Atlantic alliance or the EU could only intervene this way upon a specific request from the United Nations, he said.

Hende emphasized the importance of determining a plan given that latest data show some 3,600 EU citizens are currently in Libya.

On Thursday, Hungary activated the EU’s emergency mechanisms to coordinate evacuation. In the meantime, conditions at the Tripoli airport are reportedly turning chaotic, as passengers are stampeding head over heels to get on a plane and flee the country.