CNN Wire Staff
Washington (CNN) - All 28 NATO allies have authorized military authorities to develop a plan for NATO to take on the broader mission of civilian protection under U.N. Resolution 1973, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday.
Clinton said she will travel to London to attend an international meeting on Libya on Tuesday.
She made her comments to reporters shortly after Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told CNN that NATO had agreed to take command of enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya and was considering taking control of the full U.N.-backed military mission.
Rasmussen's announcement fell short of what U.S. President Barack Obama has sought, and it was unclear if concerns by Turkey and some other NATO allies over coalition airstrikes on Libyan ground forces would prevent NATO from agreeing to expand its command over the entire mission.
"What we have decided today is that NATO will enforce the no-fly zone," Rasmussen told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "We are considering whether NATO should take on overall responsibility. That decision has not been made yet."
Rasmussen said he expected NATO to decide on the issue "within the coming days."
Asked if the announcement revealed a split in NATO over the mission, Rasmussen said no.
However, he also acknowledged that, if unaltered, the agreement would mean the overall Libyan mission would have two parts, with NATO enforcing the no-fly zone and the U.S.-led coalition that launched the mission handling a naval blockade and airstrikes.
The U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the mission includes a section that allows coalition forces to take other steps as necessary to protect Libyan civilians. So far, the U.S.-led coalition has interpreted that to include airstrikes on Libyan ground forces threatening the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and in other areas.
NATO sources said Turkey was uncomfortable with such a role and raised concerns about that at Thursday's meeting.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with