Obama, NATO chief agree to continue airstrikes on Libya

President Obama and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen agreed at a White House meeting on Friday to continue strikes against Libya.

In a readout provided by the White House, the two men "agreed the operation had saved countless lives and that as long as the Gadhafi regime continues to attack its own population, NATO will maintain its operations to protect civilians."

The U.S. is one of the countries enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, "and are enforcing the no-fly zone, implementing the arms embargo and protecting civilians from the violence inflicted on them by the Qadhafi regime."


White House officials have emphatically denied that the goal in Libya is one of regime change, but member nations have agreed that Gadhafi should leave power.

The White House said the two men also discussed Afghanistan, where U.S. forces are scheduled to begin drawing down this summer, paving the way for a NATO support mission that would continue after a full withdrawal in 2014.

"They agreed on the importance of a sustained NATO commitment to Afghanistan as the process of transition to Afghan lead for security begins this year," the readout said.

More than 40,000 NATO troops are in Afghanistan alongside U.S. forces, the White House said.