OSLO, Norway (AP) - Norway will scale down its fighter jet
contribution in Libya from six to four planes and withdraw
completely from the NATO-led operation by Aug. 1, the government
Defense Minister Grete Faremo said she expects understanding
from NATO allies because Norway has a small air force and cannot
"maintain a large fighter jet contribution during a long time."
The Scandinavian country's air force says Norwegian F-16 jets
have carried out about 10 percent of the NATO airstrikes in Libya
since March 31.
The parties in the center-left coalition government had been at
odds over whether to extend the Norwegian mission, which was
scheduled to expire June 24. The most leftist faction in the
government, the Socialist Left Party, opposed an extension but a
compromise was reached to stay in the operation until Aug. 1 with
"It is wise to end the Norwegian fighter jet contribution. Now
Norway should apply its efforts to find a peaceful solution in
Libya," Socialist Left Party lawmaker Baard Vegar Solhjell said.
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