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Monday, March 14, 2011

Turkey Opposes NATO Libya Intervention: PM

ISTANBUL — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday reiterated his opposition to NATO intervention in Libya, saying it would trigger dangerous consequences.

"Military intervention by NATO in Libya or any other country would be totally counter-productive," the Anatolia news agency quoted Erdogan as saying during an address here at an international forum.

"In addition to being counter-productive, such an operation could have dangerous consequences."

Turkey, a NATO member, stressed that the 28-member military alliance could intervene only when one of its members is attacked.

During a visit to Germany late last month, Erdogan said a NATO intervention in Libya would be "unthinkable" and "absurd".

He also raised strong objections to imposing sanctions on Libya, saying innocent people would suffer and accusing world powers of making "calculations" over oil.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen meanwhile said early this month that the alliance did not intend to intervene in oil-rich Libya but was planning for "all eventualities".

He has insisted that the UN Security Council would have to approve any military action in Libya, including the enforcement of a no-fly zone.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization 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 assess the humanitarian aid the United Nations could request.

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