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NATO says too early to speak of extending operation in Libya

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NATO chief spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said on Tuesday it was too early to speak about extending the "Unified Protector" mission in Libya.

NATO chief spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said on Tuesday it was too early to speak about extending the "Unified Protector" mission in Libya.

"As the secretary general has clearly stated, we are determined to continue the mission for as long as necessary - but not a day longer than necessary. Our clear intention is to terminate the mission as soon as the situation allows," Lungescu told journalists at a briefing in Brussels.

She said Libya "is moving fast and it's moving into the right direction," but the situation in some Libyan regions "remains fluid."

Lungescu also said that the Friends of Libya group will convene on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will attend this meeting.

Massive demonstrations against longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi broke out in Libya in mid-February. The international NATO-led military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution on "targeted measures" to protect civilians. The sanctions included a total arms embargo, travel bans and a freeze on accounts held by the country's leadership.

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