British PM insists no ground forces for Libya

David Cameron concedes that UN limits were making campaign more difficult.

Last Updated: Apr 18, 2011, 14:53 PM IST

London: Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted that Britain will not send ground forces into Libya but conceded the limits set by the UN resolution were making the campaign more difficult.

"What we`ve said is there is no question of an invasion or an occupation, this is not about Britain putting boots on the ground, this is not what we are about here," he told Sky News television.

He stressed international forces would not go beyond the terms set by UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which authorises all necessary means to protect civilians in Libya but rules out a foreign occupation force.

"It is because we have said we are not going to invade, we are not going to occupy (that) this is more difficult in many ways because we can`t fully determine the outcome with what we have available," said Cameron.

"But we are very clear that we must stick to the terms of the UN Security Council Resolution, we must keep the support of the Arab world," he added, speaking from Oxfordshire in southern England.

Britain is taking part in air strikes on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi`s forces with other NATO countries to enforce the UN resolution.

British International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell will travel to New York on Monday to hold urgent talks with the UN over the ongoing humanitarian situation in the north African nation.

"The UK is extremely concerned for the plight of civilians in areas affected by conflict, including the besieged city of Misrata," a government statement said.

On Sunday in Libya, government forces pounded rebels with heavy artillery west of Ajdabiya, forcing hundreds of residents and some rebel fighters to flee the key crossroads town.

Bureau Report