The Turkish, which is still questioning the dominant role of NATO in spearheading the military campaign against Moammar Gaddafi, has nonetheless offered the services of its navy to help enforce a UN arms embargo on Libya.
NATO said that Turkey has offered four frigates, a submarine and a support ship in the effort. Overall, said Brigadier Pierre St Amand, a NATO military officer, the western military alliance had received offers of sixteen ships from various member countries to help with the mission.
Amand explained that NATO is authorized to use armed force to enforce the embargo.
Specifically, the ships include: a command-and-control ship from Italy; ten frigates, including four from Turkey and one each from Britain, Spain, Greece, Italy, Canada and the US; submarines from Spain, Italy and Turkey; and auxiliary ships from Italy and Turkey.
Under terms of the mission, NATO will be able to board and/or intercept suspicious ships, and the authority to fire a warning shot across the bow, a NATO official said, according to Al Jazeera.
If after inspection, doubts remain as to the legitimacy of the cargo, the vessel will be diverted to a designated port for further inspection, Amand said.
However, Turkey’s political leaders remain skeptical about the campaign against Libya, believing that air strikes conducted by Britain, France and US have already gone beyond the mandate and scope of the UN resolution of imposing a no-fly zone over the North African country.
Abdullah Gul, the Turkish president, warned the coalition not to pursue any secret motives in Libya.
According to BBC, Gul said it was obvious that some coalition countries saw the conflict as an opportunity for themselves.
Ambassadors of NATO are again meeting in Brussels for a third day to evaluate the magnitude and extent of the alliance’s participation in the Libya adventure.
The US, UK and France all agree that NATO should play a key position in the offensive against Gaddafi, but other members (incolding Turkey) seek a reduced role for the alliance.
For reasons of efficiency, we want a single command structure to run the coalition action, and NATO has such capabilities, so we must use its resources, Francois Baroin, a French government spokesman.
We are working to ensure that the coalition continues to retain the political leadership. Talks with our allies are being finalised. It's not quite nailed down yet.
Meanwhile, several Arab nations have agreed to participate in the enforcement of the embargo. Qatar has sent four warplanes, the United Arab Emirates has also offered support. Also, Kuwait and Jordan agreed to make “logistical contributions” in the interests of protecting Libyan civilians.