Mixed reaction to UN resolution on Libya

Published: 20/03/2011 05:00



The UN Security Council resolution authorizing a no-fly zone over conflict-torn Libya has continued to spark mixed reaction from countries around the world.

The resolution, which was adopted Thursday with 10 votes in favor and five abstentions, called for “all necessary measures,” excluding troops on the ground, to protect civilians under threat of attack in the North African country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that her country could take on more missions of aerial reconnaissance in Afghanistan to free up its allies’ forces for a military intervention in Libya.

The chancellor expressed Germany’s support for the UN’s latest resolution. “We fully endorse the aims of this resolution,” Merkel said.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle stressed that Germany does not want to participate “in a war with German soldiers in Libya”after considering the “dangers and risks.”

Cyprus said on Friday it had no information about a possible decision by Britain to use its air base in southern Cyprus for military action in Libya. “We have not been informed that Britain intends to use its bases on Cyprus,” government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said after a day of speculation about staging air operations from Akrotiri air base, near the southern city of Limassol.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Friday that Poland should resort to “reason and restraint” when presented with the possibility of an armed conflict and intervention in Libya.

“The Polish position is clear — restraint and calm response to such situation,” said the prime minister. “Poland may consider its participation in a pan-European humanitarian action addressed to civilians in Libya.”

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou held telephone conversations with his Libyan and Turkish counterparts over the ongoing crisis in Libya Friday evening.

“The Greek Premier stressed to Libyan Prime Minister Al- Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi the need for an immediate implementation of the UN Security Council resolution, in particular the request of the international community that there will be a cease fire and a smooth exit from the crisis,” said a press statement issued by Papandreou’s office.

Belarusian Foreign Ministry press secretary Andrei Savinykh said on Friday that Belarus will strictly comply with all provisions of the UN Resolution on Libya.

“Belarus is considering the UN Security Council as a central element of the global security system. We think its decisions are obligatory for all UN member states. In this regard Belarus will strictly comply with all provisions of this resolution,” Savinykh told local media.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday urged Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to stop his troops advancing to Benghazi, rebels’ last base, warning him of the consequences of a military intervention.

“Gaddafi must stop the advance of his troops to Benghazi and withdraw from Ajdabiya, Misratah and Zawiyah,” Sarkozy said in a statement, referring to cities taken by Gaddafi’s troop around Benghazi, which is a western city in Libya held by rebels as the last resort.

The Italian government on Friday decided to offer the use of its southern military bases for the UN-led “no-fly zone” operations over Libya, officially kicking-off the country’s participation in the international mission.

Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russia announced that Italy would be giving all sort of logistic and technical support to the UN-authorized mission, including its technological capacity of neutralizing enemy radars.

Six CF-18 Hornet fighter jets left Canadian Forces base in Bagotville, Quebec early Friday afternoon to help enforce the United Nations no-fly zone over Libya, a senior Canadian officer said.

Lt. Gen. Andre Deschamps, chief of the air staff, told a news conference at the base before the planes departed that three more jets are expected to leave within a few hours.

“The message given by Canada is a strong one and the Canadian forces are prepared to respond,” Deschamps said. “This departure means that Canada is fully engaged in this important mission.”

Source: VNS

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