NATO does not need US for Libya: Biden

US Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview published that NATO can handle Libya without US help.

Washington: US Vice President Joe Biden
said in an interview published on Wednesday that NATO can handle
Libya without US help, saying Washington`s efforts are better
focused on places like Pakistan or Egypt.

"If the Lord Almighty extricated the US out of NATO
and dropped it on the planet of Mars so we were no longer
participating, it is bizarre to suggest that NATO and the rest
of the world lacks the capacity to deal with Libya -- it does
not," Biden told the Financial Times.

"Occasionally other countries lack the will, but this
is not about capacity," he told the daily amid deep unease
among the US public and lawmakers over military action in
Libya.

His comments came after the US Defence Department said
the US military had flown more than 800 sorties over Libya
since handing control of the air campaign`s operations to
NATO.

Navy Captain Darryn James said US fighter jets this
month unleashed bombs eight times on the air defences of
strongman Moamer Gaddafi`s government, which is battling
anti-regime rebels in the North African nation.

Washington coordinated operations in the first days of
allied intervention in Libya after the United Nations Security
Council approved international military action to thwart
attacks by Gaddafi forces on rebel-held cities.

It transferred command to the NATO alliance earlier
this month, leaving the Pentagon primarily providing
refuelling and surveillance aircraft, but it still flexes its
military might.

Biden argued that Washington had to decide whether to
spend resources "focusing on Iran, Egypt, North Korea,
Afghanistan [and] Pakistan", or give Libya more attention,
stressing: "We can`t do it all."

"The question is: Where should our resources be?" he
asked.

If it came down to deciding between getting a complete
picture of Libya`s opposition or understanding events in Egypt
and the role the Muslim Brotherhood -- an Islamist group
feared by some in Washington -- then "it`s not even close,"
said Biden.

PTI

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