Hillary to attend London conference on Libya

Turkey`s Parliament has approved sending a naval force off Libya.

Last Updated: Mar 25, 2011, 16:26 PM IST

Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend a London conference on Tuesday to discuss coalition military action against Libya, the State Department said.

The visit was announced on Thursday after a four-way telephone conversation between Hillary and foreign ministers William Hague of Britain, Alain Juppe of France and Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the conference would discuss the Libyan crisis, implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, and the humanitarian needs of those affected by the conflict.

Davutoglu said on Thursday after the call that NATO will take command of the international coalition`s military operations in Libya from the United States, which had taken the lead when the air strikes began on Saturday.

The loosely articulated coalition which is enforcing UN Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect Libyan civilians and enforce a no-fly zone had trouble agreeing on a leadership structure.

Turkey`s Parliament on Thursday approved sending a naval force off Libya as the Islamist-rooted government moved reluctantly to join military action in the conflict-torn country despite anger at Western-led air raids.

In a statement from London, Hague said the participants would form a "contact group of nations" to advance efforts to stop Muammar Gaddafi’s forces killing civilians.

Juppe said earlier the meeting would bring together the United States, France, Britain and all other coalition partners plus the African Union, the Arab League, and "all interested European nations”.

Hague said the meeting would in part tackle the "humanitarian needs of the Libyan people and identify ways to support the people of Libya in their aspirations for a better future”.

Bureau Report