Prime Minister Stephen Harper said allied countries are encouraged by a last-minute cease-fire announcement in Libya, but that the military deployment in the area will continue to maintain pressure on the Gadhafi regime.
"The situation in Libya remains intolerable," Mr. Harper told reporters as he argued in favour of further action to prevent more slaughters. "For that threat [of military action]to remain credible, adequate military forces must be in place."
Confirming that Canada will send CF-18 fighters jets in response to this week's UN Security Council resolution, Mr. Harper said that Canada's position during the crisis in Lybia has been "strong and decisive," including the evacuation of Canadian citizens and calls for Moammar Gadhafi to step down.
"One either believes in freedom, or one just says one believes in freedom," he said. "The Libyan people have shown by their sacrifice that they believe in it. Assisting them is a moral obligation upon those of us who profess this great ideal."
Before speaking to the media, Mr. Harper consulted with opposition leaders. He said Parliament will discuss the matter next week and will be consulted again if the deployment lasts more than three months.
Mr. Harper did not take questions from reporters.