Qatar, several EU states up for Libya action: diplomat
(PARIS) - Qatar and several European nations, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway, on Saturday confirmed their will to take part in UN-sanctioned military intervention in Libya, a diplomat said.
France and Britain have been leading calls and plans for attacks on Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's forces to prevent attacks on rebels. Canada has also said it will send several fighter jets to take part.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero said Spain would help set up the UN-sanctioned no-fly zone by providing an airborne refuelling plane and four F-18 fighters that would leave on Saturday for an Italian air base.
Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said: "Belgium will make available F-16s currently in southern Greece."
Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi confirmed that Italian bases would be available to help enforce the no-fly zone over its former colony, adding that further Italian participation could follow.
Operational command "will probably be carried out from the NATO base in Naples," Berlusconi said, without specifying if he was referring to overall operations or the no-fly zone.
The United States has said it backs a UN resolution calling for action in Libya but has not detailed its contribution to intervention.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou volunteered the use of the island of Crete, which lies between Greece and Libya, to aid air operations in the North African nation, the diplomat said.
The Arab world was on Saturday represented by Jordan, Morocco, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates at a French-hosted summit on what action to take in Libya to prevent Kadhafi attacking rebels.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari also attended in his capacity as current head of the Arab League, along with League Secretary General Amr Moussa.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with her Emirati and Jordanian counterparts Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Nasser Joudeh and with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad ben Jassem al-Thani after the Paris summit.
US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has said she expects the involvement of a number of important Arab partners in military intervention in Libya.
Clinton, who came to Paris with the Pentagon's head of strategic planning, General Charles Jacoby, was expected to speak later on Saturday.