BRUSSELS – NATO will not intervene in the Libyan crisis, but will continue to monitor the situation closely, its top decision-making body said after an emergency meeting Friday.
The North Atlantic Council said in a statement that it will continue to monitor the situation "in coordination with other international organizations, and "continue to consult in order to be prepared for any eventuality."
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen had earlier said the alliance did not intend to intervene in Libya, has received no requests to do so, and such an action would require a U.N. mandate.
The North Atlantic Council, NATO's main decision-making body, consisting of ambassadors from NATO's 28 member states, met in Brussels.
There was no mention in the statement of plans to deploy ships and surveillance aircraft to the Mediterranean to assist the thousands of foreign citizens fleeing the North African country. There also have been isolated calls for NATO ground forces to help evacuate foreigners stranded by the fighting.
NATO already has a naval force in the Mediterranean Sea, known as Active Endeavor, which monitors shipping to protect it from terrorists.
The U.N. Security Council also meets Friday in New York to consider actions against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime — which could include sanctions aimed at deterring his violent crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.