Mexico City: Deputy British Prime
Minister Nick Clegg said that the intervention in Libya is different from the war in Iraq, which he opposed, and hailed a "new axis of openness" in international affairs.
"I was a strong opponent of the war in Iraq. It was
wrong. But the action being taken in Libya today is right,"
Clegg said yesterday in a foreign policy speech at Mexico
City`s Chapultepec castle.
Clegg, in Mexico on a trade mission, called for a new
era of "multilateralism."
"The lesson of Iraq is not that intervention in
support of liberal aims is always wrong. The lesson of Iraq is
that any such action must only and must always be multilateral
sanctioned and driven by humanitarian concerns," Clegg said.
"The action in Libya doesn`t signal a return to the
trigger-happy policies of the past. It represents a
responsible collective decision to intervene on clear and
moral grounds," he added.
"A new `axis of openness` is forming," Clegg said, in
a deliberate contrast to the words of former US president
George W. Bush regarding countries he considered to be an
"axis of evil."
International powers meeting in London yesterday edged
closer to an exile plan for embattled Libyan leader Moamer
Kadhafi, as France said it was ready to discuss military aid
More than 40 countries and organisations including the
United Nations and NATO agreed to create a contact group to
map out a future for Libya and to meet again as soon as
possible in the Arab state of Qatar.]
Clegg`s Liberal Democrats, a junior coalition partner
to Prime Minister David Cameron`s Conservatives, were the only
one of the three main British political parties to oppose the
2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.