No-fly zone plan will be presented on March 15: Hillary

Hillary says decision to impose no-fly zone over Libya should be taken by UN.

Washington: A plan aimed at establishing a no-fly zone over Libya will be presented on March 15 to NATO, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.

"We are continuing to plan for the full range of possible options including a no-fly zone," Hillary told a press conference, declining however to indicate who would present the plan on Tuesday.

US civilian and military officials have been debating with their allied counterparts the idea of a creating zone in which NATO warplanes would ground Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s air power to prevent him from attacking his own people.

"I know how concerned people are, I share that concern," Hillary said.

"But we have a lot of experience in this kind of circumstance, from Iraq, the Balkans and elsewhere, and we know how challenging it is to do any of the things that a lot of people are calling for."

She was referring to no-fly zones imposed over Serbia and Iraq in the 1990s.

The top US diplomat has stressed that any decision to impose a no-fly zone over Libya should be taken by the United Nations and not the United States.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation appeared divided meanwhile on the usefulness of such a measure as well as the idea -- attributed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy -- to launch air strikes in Libya.

The organisation decided to reinforce its naval presence in an area near Libya, and evaluate the humanitarian aid the United Nations could request.

The transatlantic alliance has already increased its airborne radar surveillance of the central sector of the Mediterranean.

Bureau Report

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