Leaders prepare UN resolution authorizing Libya no-fly zone (JERUSALEM POST) By REUTERS AND JPOST.COM STAFF 03/08/11)
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Britain and France are preparing a UN Security Council resolution
authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya, and diplomats said on Monday it
will be tough but not impossible to get Russia and China´s support.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said in London that Britain was
working with other countries on a draft. Diplomats in Paris and New
York said the work was being done by Britain and France in close
consultation with the United States and Germany.
Hague told the British parliament there were "credible reports" that
Libyan government forces had used helicopter gunships against
civilians as supporters of Muammar Gaddafi try to put down a revolt
against his 41-year rule.
Diplomats said a decision by France and Britain to submit a draft
resolution to the 15-nation council would depend on whether
certain "triggers" for action were met. These, they said, could
include a marked deterioration of the humanitarian situation or mass
aerial bombardments of civilian areas.
"We just want to be ready should the decision to launch negotiations
on such a (no-fly zone) resolution be made so that we can make as
rapid progress as possible," a diplomat said.
Some envoys said the NATO alliance could be charged with enforcing
the zone. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that
the alliance would only do so if the UN Security Council authorized
The US envoy to NATO Ivo Daalder said on Monday that the alliance has
launched 24-hour aerial surveillance of Libya. US Defense Secretary
Robert Gates has made clear enforcing a no-fly zone would amount to
Rebels reject "honorable" exit for Gaddafi
Also Monday, Al Jazeera television said Libyan rebels rejected an
offer by Gaddafi to hold a meeting of parliament to work out a deal
under which he would step down.
Al Jazeera said sources from the rebel interim council told its
correspondent in Benghazi that the offer was rejected because it
would have amounted to an "honorable" exit for Gaddafi and would
offend his victims.
Al Jazeera said Gaddafi wanted guarantees of personal safety for him
and his family and a pledge that they not be put on trial. It said
that Gaddafi had sent former prime minister Jadallah Azzouz Talhi to
meet the rebels and offer to hold a meeting of the General People´s
Congress to work out the details of such a deal.
The offer aimed at having Gaddafi hand over power to a committee
formed by the General People´s Congress, the television said.
Obama: NATO considering military intervention in Libya
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama on Monday said that NATO is
considering taking military action in Libya, USA Today reported.
Speaking after a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
at the White House, Obama said that NATO was meeting in Brussels and
consulting "around a wide range of potential options, including
potential military options, in response to the violence that
continues to take place inside of Libya."
Obama stated that he had authorized millions of dollars in
humanitarian aid for the Libyan people who he said are
facing "unacceptable violence from the regime of leader Muammar
The US president warned that Gaddafi and his supporters would be held
responsible for the violence being perpetrated in Libya.
Earlier on Monday, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates cautioned that
any foreign military intervention in the crisis in Libya would
require international backing.
"I think we will have to monitor the situation very closely," Gates,
on a visit to Afghanistan, said when asked about the possibility of
an international military response in Libya.
"But I think at this point there is a sense that any action should be
the result of international sanction," he told a news conference.
The comments came as government forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar
Gaddafi struck at rebels in the east and concern mounted over
civilian suffering and a growing exodus of refugees.
Gates said developments in the Middle East had further damaged the
image of Iran, where the opposition says at least 79 people were
arrested at protest rallies last week that the government denied had
even taken place.
"I think where Iran is the loser ... is the contrast between
militaries and security authorities in places like Tunisia and Egypt
standing aside while people protest against their government, while
security services of the Iranian government ruthlessly suppress and
kill those who would criticise or protest."
"They (Iran) are losers already in this image across the world," he
said. (© 1995 - 2011 The Jerusalem Post. 03/08/11)
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