Canada encouraged by Libya move, but sending jets

Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:42am EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada is encouraged by reports that Libya has declared a ceasefire but will still send fighter jets to help enforce a no-fly zone, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday.

Harper spoke shortly after Libya said it would halt all military operations to protect its civilians and comply with a U.N. resolution authorizing a no-fly zone.

"We are encouraged by late-breaking news that in response to the threat of military action, the Libyan regime has declared a ceasefire," Harper said in a statement.

"However, for that threat to remain credible, adequate military forces must be in place. Our deployment will therefore proceed."

Harper did not specify how many fighters would be deployed. Domestic media say six aircraft and 200 support staff will be dispatched.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway)