SOCHI, Russia - NATO's chief defended the alliance's Libya operation on Monday during a visit to Russia, which has accused the Western coalition conducting air strikes of overstepping its UN mandate to protect civilians.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke during a break from a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also met South African President Jacob Zuma to discuss Libya.
International leaders are puzzling over how to end the war in Libya, where despite three months of NATO bombing Muammar Gaddafi has resisted calls to give up power in the face of a rebel offensive aimed at ending his 41-year rule.
Russia abstained from the UN Security Council resolution in March that authorized military intervention to protect civilians. It has criticised the NATO operation, but also joined Western nations in calling for Gaddafi to give up power.