NATO has no plans to intervene in Libya: Rasmussen
France says possible "crimes against humanity" in Libya
NATO has no plans to intervene in the unrest in Libya and has received no request to do so, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after talks in Ukraine on Thursday, as France said that Libya violence could constitute crimes against humanity which might need international trial.
"I would like to stress that NATO has no plans to intervene and we have not received any request," Rasmussen said after talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
"In any case, any action should be based on a clear United Nations mandate," he added.
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro claimed Tuesday the United States was about to order NATO to invade Libya to control its oil interests.
Washington "will not hesitate to give the order for NATO to invade that rich country, perhaps in the coming hours or days," he claimed in an article written for official state media.
Both the United States and the European Union are currently considering fresh sanctions against Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi's regime, but neither has officially suggested the use of force.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview published Wednesday that the United States may find it difficult to implement a no-fly zone over Libya that would put a halt to the reported bombing of anti-Gaddafi protesters.
Gates, however, said such a zone might be enforced by France or potentially Italy, which have sufficient forces on the region.
On Thursday, Rasmussen said the current turmoil threatened to impact Libya's neighbors, but posed no direct threat to NATO or its allies.
"I do not consider the situation in Libya a direct threat to NATO or NATO allies," Rasmussen said.
"But of course there may be negative repercussions. Such upheavals may have impact on migration, refugees. That also goes for neighboring countries."
More than 30,000 Tunisian and Egyptian migrants have fled to their home countries from Libya since Monday, the International Organization for Migration said Thursday.
Washington will not hesitate to give the order for NATO to invade that rich country, perhaps in the coming hours or days
"Crimes against humanity"
The French foreign ministry meanwhile said on Thursday that violence during anti-regime protests in Libya could constitute crimes against humanity which might need to be brought before international judges.
France also called for a U.N.-mandated mission of Inquiry to be sent to Libya to assess such eventual crimes.
A U.N. rights council resolution is being discussed "strongly condemning the massive and unacceptable violence currently carried out" in Libya, a ministry statement said, with hundreds dead in protests against Gaddafi's regime.
The resolution will "make the Libyan authorities face their responsibilities. The violence could constitute crimes against humanity," the statement said.
"All possible actions must be examined, including getting international justice involved," it added, in apparent reference to the International Criminal Court.
ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said on Wednesday that "the decision to do justice in Libya should be taken by the Libyan people," pointing out that Libya was not a signatory to the Rome Statute setting up the world court.
"Therefore, intervention by the ICC on the alleged crimes committed in Libya can occur only if the Libyan authorities accept the jurisdiction of the court," he said in a statement.
"In the absence of such steps, the United Nations Security Council can decide to refer the situation to the court. The Office of the Prosecutor will act only after either decision is taken."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told journalists: "We would like for an independent, impartial and credible mission of enquiry under the aegis of the United Nations to be sent to Libya."
"This mission of enquiry could be able to evaluate the scale of crimes committed and in particular whether crimes against humanity took place," he said, with eventual cases for prosecution brought before the ICC.
The French statement said that Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie had spoken to the current head of the U.N. Security Council, Brazil, and would later speak to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton concerning Libya.
All possible actions must be examined, including getting international justice involved
French foreign ministry statement