NATO Handover Imminent?

by Daniel Foster

CBS News has quoted the Turkish foreign minister as saying that NATO will take over command of the Libyan operation. The Turks had been opposed to such a move. No additional details yet.

UPDATE: Now CNN is reporting from two diplomatic officials that a “deal in principle” [sic] is in place that would see NATO take over command of the Libya mission in the coming days.

UPDATE II: Via AP, Turkey’s foreign minister confirms it:

“The coalition that was formed following the Paris meeting will abandon the mission and hand it over entirely to a single command system under NATO,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as saying by Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency.

“All of Turkey’s concerns, demands on the issue have been met,” he said, and NATO has promised to complete the work needed to take over the Libya mission “within one or two days.”

Earlier in the day, Turkey’s parliament authorized the government to participate in military operations in Libya, including the no-fly zone. Turkey is NATO’s only Muslim member.

Turkey’s government had insisted that any NATO mission, including the no-fly zone, must be restricted to protecting civilians, enforcing the arms embargo and providing humanitarian aid.

UPDATE III: I am now creating an infinite blog post loop by linking to a post that links back to this post, but see my above for why the NATO deal might be in trouble. Needless to say, developing.

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