Arab League says could back Libya no-fly zone
The Arab League said on Thursday it would consider backing a no-fly zone over Libya to end its crackdown on anti-regime rebels, but ruled out supporting any direct foreign military intervention.
Cairo: The Arab League said on Thursday it would
consider backing a no-fly zone over Libya to end its crackdown
on anti-regime rebels, but ruled out supporting any direct
foreign military intervention.
"The Arab countries cannot remain with their arms folded
when the blood of the brotherly Libyan people is being shed,"
the league said in a resolution after a meeting of foreign
ministers in Cairo.
"The ministers have decided to pursue talks on the best
way to protect Libya`s citizens and to assure their security,
including the imposition of an aerial exclusion zone and
coordination between the Arab League and the African Union on
this subject," it said.
The Arab League last month barred Libya from its meetings
until strongman Moamer Gaddafi responds to the demands of
protesters, amid a crackdown by the regime that one rights
group says has killed 6,000 people.
League chief Amr Mussa had earlier told the meeting,
attended by foreign ministers and representatives of the
22-member body, that the situation in Libya was
But the decision to keep the no-fly zone option open was
a surprise after officials at the Arab League had earlier
appeared set against all foreign involvement in the situation
The resolution passed today said the ministers "affirm
the rejection of all forms of foreign intervention in Libya
and the necessity to respect the Libyan people and their
Western powers are discussing the possibility of imposing
a no-fly zone over Libya to support forces fighting Gaddafi`s
regime. Some opposition figures in Libya have begun calling
for air strikes.
Two American warships carrying marines and equipment, the
USS Kearsarge and the USS Ponce, entered the Suez Canal today
en route to Libya.
But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told senators
today that the United States is a "long way" from deciding
whether to impose a no-fly zone in Libya.