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Arab League calls on UN Security Council for a no-fly zone over Libya

Saturday, March 12th 2011 - 23:26 UTC
Full article 4 comments
Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa (Photo Reuters) Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa (Photo Reuters)

The Arab League threw its support behind calls for a no-fly zone over Libya on Saturday as the Libyan military closed in on the opposition. The League urged on Saturday the United Nations to close Libyan airspace, as forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi continued using war planes to bombard the country's rebels.

“The Arab League has officially requested the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone against any military action against the Libyan people,” said Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, adding that the no-fly zone should be ended when the crisis was over.

Approval from the 22-member organization, which met Saturday in Cairo, could pave the way for military action against Gadhafi by Western forces.

The League said it rejected any “foreign military” intervention against the Libyan people and it had opened contact with the rebel Libyan National Council.

Earlier in the week, leaders including NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said they would consider imposing a no-fly zone only with support from Libya's Arab neighbors.

Moussa said Saturday that the “serious crimes and great violations” of the Libyan government against its people had stripped it of legitimacy.

“The United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union, the Europeans - everyone should participate [in action against Gadhafi],” Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa told German news magazine Der Spiegel.

Rebel forces have repeatedly asked the international community to impose a no-fly zone to stop Gadhafi's air strikes, without which they say their three-week insurgency could fail.

Meanwhile on Saturday, Gadhafi's forces were reportedly within striking distance of Libya's second city, the opposition stronghold of Benghazi. Earlier in the day, they retook the northern oil town of Ras Lanuf earlier in the day.

The fall of the city was confirmed by former Libyan Interior Minister Gen. Abdul Fateh Younis, who defected to the rebel side.

“The rebel forces, who for weeks rapidly advanced on the capital Tripoli in a bid to oust Gadhafi, are loosing steam to the better armed government forces” news network Al Jazeera reported from Brega, where Gadhafi's troops had also invaded.

Younis vowed that the rebels would launch a counter-offensive by Sunday at the latest.
On Friday, Western leaders vowed to consider military action to force out Gadhafi, though there was no commitment to a no-fly zone.

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels said they would consider all options to remove Gadhafi, but stopped short of endorsing air strikes, a no-fly zone or other military-backed means to achieve that goal.

The summit did not decide on a British and French initiative for a UN Security Council resolution to authorize a no-fly zone. It also did not consider French President Nicolas Sarkozy's proposal for “defensive” air strikes against Libya or his call to follow France in recognizing the rebel National Libyan Council as the Libya's only legitimate authority.


Categories: Politics, International.

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  • briton

    David david david , when will you ever learn, yes we know the British already have a no fly zone, [we have no flipping planes]
    but now the world knows we have no planes, so in a way you have succeeded to your dreams, the British now have a no fly zone policy, that the world can see, NO BRITISH PLANES .
    perfect David perfect, if you strip this country any more , our enemies will make you a god, ,, but not of love or war, but stupidity, goodnight .

    Mar 13th, 2011 - 06:57 pm 0
  • GeoffWard

    What is a *world* United Nations Security Council?

    Is it a forum for defining best action to give security to peoples of the world, and then effecting that action using the services of the nations of the world in united action?

    Does the world United Nations Security Council have to wait for permission of
    some african congress,
    some arab/muslim aggregation,
    some rag-bag of south american nations,
    some affiliation of leftist revolutionary workers parties,
    some world aggregation of trade unions,
    before it can act to protect communities under attack?

    What has the world come to . . . . . . that we have become so timid that we allow the pressure groups of the world to run roughshod over the higher interest of protecting the peoples of the world. (This is NOT a question, it is a rhetotical statement of frustration).

    Mar 13th, 2011 - 07:54 pm 0
  • aedi

    Is risible if not tragic, that some myopic people are ready to back any armed action against supposedly “independent” countries, that would surely cause a bigger conflict, in order to satisfy their lust for “action”.
    The problem is, that the same people tend not to be that “aggressive” against countries that using the “right of the most powerful” or greedy, cause hundreds of thousands of casualties all over the globe without a valid or legal reason to do so. They wouldn't comment on the atrocities committed by Israel against women and children, or the indiscriminate bombardment that the powers of the “West” inflicts on undefended civilians elsewhere.
    For these people, of course, everything is as clear as black and white. They surely agree with the policies of the “West” that, in order to make it simpler I'll put it this way': There are “GOOD” and “BAD” dictators, terrorists, heads of state of all sorts, countries, commentators etc. IT ONLY DEPENDS WHERE THEY ARE WITH US OR AGAINST US. Hypocrites!!!

    Mar 14th, 2011 - 12:05 am 0
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