3:17 pm - NATO has agreed to take over the mission "in coming days," CNN reports. "The deal was reached after a conference call between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her counterparts from Britain, France and Turkey."
2:57 pm - Turkey's state television is quoting the country's foreign minister saying Turkey now approves of NATO taking command of military operations in Libya, paving the way for the alliance to do so in the coming days, according to the AP. Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as saying "our demands have been met on Libya, the operation will be handed over to NATO." So far, NATO hasn't issued a statement. We'll update once we know exactly what those demands are.
Original Post (2:08 pm)
Turkey's parliament voted on Thursday to join NATO's enforcement of a U.N.-authorized arms embargo off the coast of Libya, even as it continued to stand in the way of NATO taking over command of the no-fly zone from the U.S.
Turkey, according to Reuters, wants NATO to have exclusive control of military operations. It also worries that the coalition's air strikes could harm civilians--a concern Russian officials have been vocal about as well--and therefore wants the 28-member alliance to halt offensive operations or limit itself to leading a no-fly zone while a smaller coalition continues to bomb Libyan forces. The photo above shows leftist demonstrators standing outside Turkish parliament today, brandishing a newspaper with the headline, "Turkish soldier cannot join the Crusade; Parliament take up your duty, reject the mandate!" according to the Associated Press.
With NATO set to continue the debate today, British Foreign Secretary William Hague called for the alliance to take control of Libyan operations as quickly as possible, and said he planned to speak with U.S., French, and Turkish officials later on Thursday.
On a different diplomatic front, the African Union has invited representatives from Muammar Qaddafi's government and the Libyan opposition, along with E.U., U.N., and Arab officials, to to talks in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Friday, Reuters says. The union's chairman says Qaddafi may send his prime minister.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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