US `long way` from Libya no-fly zone: Clinton

The US is "long way" from from deciding whether to impose a no-fly zone in strife-torn Libya, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday, but the White House maintained that such an option is actively being considered.

Last Updated: Mar 03, 2011, 11:08 AM IST

Washington: The US is "long way" from
from deciding whether to impose a no-fly zone in strife-torn
Libya, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday, but the
White House maintained that such an option is actively being
considered.

"I think that we are a long way from making that
decision," Clinton said at a Congressional hearing of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"We faced a similar situation in the Balkans, where
there were many, many reasons why it was not viewed with
favour that we would set up a no-fly zone for a lot of the
similar reasons: the difficulty of it, the maintenance of it,
the appearance of it," she said.

"And eventually it was determined that it was in the
interests of the peace and stability of the region, et
cetera," Clinton explained.

However, the White House said that no fly zone is an
option that is being actively considered as along with other
options.
"No-fly zone is an option that is actively being
considered," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told
reporters later at his daily news conference.

Carney, however, said there is no contradiction with
the Statement by Clinton.

"The very fact that the idea of no-fly zone is
complex does not mean that this is not being considered," said
the White House spokesman.

The United States is sending humanitarian teams to
both the Tunisian and Egyptian borders with Libya.

"We are working with the United Nations to stand up
humanitarian operations. We`ve done a survey of medical
supplies and food supplies that are in the region that we can
quickly move to assist the people in Libya," Clinton said.

"The tough issues about how and whether there would
be any intervention to assist those who are opposing Libya is
very controversial within Libya and within the Arab
community," she said.

The Arab League just issued a statement early today,
saying that they disapproved and rejected any foreign
interference within Libya, on behalf of the opposition, even
though they have called for Gadhafi to leave, she added.

"So we`re working closely with our partners and
allies to try to see what we can do. And we are engaged in
very active consideration of all the different options that
are available," Clinton said.

PTI