Assistant Secretary Philip H. Gordon today stated that the recent NATO ministerial held on 14th-15th April at Berlin was an opportunity to consult with key allies and partners not just on Libya, but on a wide range of other bilateral and multilateral issues.
Mr. Gordon reiterated that the NATO ministerial included sessions on Libya, on Afghanistan, where ISAF – all of the ISAF partners joined NATO members, NATO’s deterrence and defense posture review, NATO’s partnership’s in general, and specifically the NATO-Russia Council, the NATO-Georgia Commission, and the NATO-Ukraine Commission.
In Berlin, the Secretary Clinton had bilateral meetings with German Chancellor Merkel, German Foreign Minister Westerwelle, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Gryshchenko, British Foreign Secretary Hague, French Foreign Minister Juppe, Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu, and others.
Ms. Clinton also met with Afghan Foreign Minister Rassoul and several of the Arab participants, and in the course of two days, had the opportunity to discuss these issues in a bilateral session with a number of other allies and partners.
According to Mr. Gordon, the meeting in Berlin of NATO allies and contributors to Operation Unified Protector was an important reaffirmation of some of the key points agreed to at the Doha Contact Group meeting the day before.
Mr. Gordon also stated that over the two days with the Contact Group meeting in Doha, they will be addressing a range of political, economic, humanitarian, diplomatic factors, calling clearly for Gadhafi to go.
NATO, in Berlin, met with all 28 allies plus the six partners that have joined the Libya coalition.
Mr. Gordon also stated the most important part of the meeting wass when allies agreed, very specifically, to maintain a high operational tempo against legitimate targets and to exert this pressure as long as necessary until the following objectives are achieved.
The objectives that NATO agreed to were attacks and threats of attacks against civilians must end; regime forces, including snipers, mercenary, and others, must withdraw from all areas they have forcibly occupied, and then a number of cities were listed; and humanitarian assistance needs to be unhindered. So
Mr. Gordon said that in all, 20 of the allies plus the six partners agreed on a very specific set of goals, and made clear that military operations will continue until those goals are met.
The Doha and Berlin meetings together underscore the international community’s commitment to enforce the provisions of Security Council Resolution 1973.
Mr. Gordon underscored that the ministerial wasn’t just about Libya. In other areas, the ISAF group of nations met, and allies affirmed the transition principles and expressed broad support for intensifying the diplomatic surge toward an Afghan-led political settlement.