- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO‘s top official said Wednesday that financing the rebels in Libya would help protect civilians there.

Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that overthrowing Col. Moammar Gadhafi is not one of NATO‘s military objectives but civilians would be safer if he were gone.

“I am definitely in favor of taking all necessary measures to put the maximum pressure on the Gadhafi regime,” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said. “And I do believe it would be protection of civilians in Libya if Gadhafi was forced to step down. It would be helpful if the opposition were to be financed properly.”

NATO‘s goals are halting attacks on civilians, the return of Libyan forces to their bases, and unhindered humanitarian access to all Libyans in need.

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