BRUSSELS, September 5 (RIA Novosti)
NATO's mission in Libya could be concluded soon, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday.
"Our operation is not yet over, but the direction is clear. The Libyan people have taken their future into their own hands," he told a news briefing.
"When we assess that the threat is over for good, we will conclude Operation Unified Protector. I cannot give a precise date - but I believe it will come soon."
He added that "NATO and our partners will be there as long as we are needed - but not one minute longer."
"We set out to protect civilians. And we will see this through," Rasmussen said.
It is now for the Libyan people to shape their future, he continued.
The United Nations reaffirmed that it will play the leading role in supporting the Libyan people and NATO stands ready to help, "if we are needed and requested to do so," the secretary general said.
"But Operation Unified Protector will end as soon as our mission is completed."