BELGIUM—(ENEWSPF)—25 February 2011. During a visit to Budapest, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen made the following statement:
What is happening in Libya is of great concern to all of us. It’s a crisis in our immediate neighbourhood. It affects the lives and safety of Libyan civilians and those of thousands of citizens from NATO member states. Many countries are now evacuating their citizens from Libya – clearly, a massive challenges.
I can tell you that I have convened an emergency meeting of the NATO council this afternoon to consult on the fast-moving situation. I will return to Brussels in a few hours. Before I do so, I will meet with EU Defence Ministers and discuss with them how we, in a pragmatic way, can help those in need and limit the consequences of these events.
Q (Reuters): What kind of possible action can NATO consider to help resolve this crisis?
NATO Secretary General: I will not go into specifics at this time, but clearly priority must be given to evacuation and possibly, also, humanitarian assistance.
Q (Reuters): What kind of capabilities does NATO have to deploy and how quickly can they deploy these capabilities, if the need arises?
NATO Secretary General: I think, again, it’s a bit pre-mature to go into specifics, but it’s well known that NATO has assets that can be used in a situation like this and NATO can act as an enabler and coordinator, if and when, individual member states want to take action.