No clarity on no-fly zone move in Libya: India

Amid mounting calls by Western nations for enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, India said there was not much "clarity" on key questions like objective and assets required for the measure.

Last Updated: Mar 09, 2011, 13:26 PM IST

New York: Amid mounting calls by
Western nations for enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, India
said there was not much "clarity" on key questions like
objective and assets required for the measure.

As Britain and France worked on a draft resolution for
consideration of the UN Security Council on a potential no-fly
zone in the strife-torn North African nation, New Delhi also
said that deliberations on the issue were at a "very
preliminary" stage.

"Consideration for imposing a new-fly zone is still at
a very preliminary stage," Hardeep Singh Puri, India`s
ambassador to the UN said. India is a non-permanent member
in the UN Security Council.

"There has been some mention but without clarity on
what the objective would be. There is even less clarity on
where assets for imposing a no-fly zone would come from," he
said, stressing that no "formal proposal" was in front of the
Security Council yet.

Puri, however, said that "it is clear to most people
that implementing a new fly zone would involve military action
including neutralising ground installations such as air
defence systems like radars. This would be viewed as military
intervention".

The Indian envoy noted that the meetings of the Arab
League on Saturday "would be critical for firming opinion" on
the no-fly zone issue.

"The no-fly zone is now the objective of the
international community," Arab League envoy to the US Hussein
Hassouna said.

Britain`s Foreign Secretary William Hague had
said, "It is a realistic possibility and it is a practical
possibility. It has to have a clear legal base, it has to have
the necessary international support, broad support in the
region itself."

The Security Council was briefed yesterday on
Middle East and North Africa in a closed-door session by the
UN`s top political official Lynn Pascoe.

"As we see in the battles that have been going on,
clear actions are being taken against the people there, both
in Tripoli and other cities," he told journalists after the
meeting.

"This is a matter of huge concern for all of us in the
Secretariat, certainly for the Security Council," he said.

Responding to whether a no-fly zone was discussed at
the meeting, Pascoe said it was among the several issues that
were part of a "serious and interactive discussion" on the
role of the Security Council and Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon`s office in the face of the Libyan crisis.

Last month, the Security Council unanimously adopted a
resolution slapping sanctions on the Libyan regime, which
includes a complete arms embargo, an asset freeze and a travel
ban on strongman Muammar Gaddafi and his loyalists, and a
referral to the Hague-based International Criminal Court.

US President Barack Obama had yesterday discussed
about the creation of a no-fly zone with UK Prime Minister
David Cameron during a telephonic conversation.

The two leaders "agreed to press forward with
planning, including at NATO, on the full spectrum of possible
responses, including surveillance, humanitarian assistance,
enforcement of the arms embargo, and a no fly zone," a
statement from the White House said.

PTI