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West mobilises for action, Libya announces ceasefire

18. March 2011. | 17:04

Source: Tanjug

UN Security Council adopts resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and approves the use of all necessary measures in order to protect civilians from Muammar al Gaddafi’s troops. The west mobilises for action, Gaddafi threatens.

UN Security Council adopts resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and approves the use of all necessary measures in order to protect civilians from Muammar al Gaddafi’s troops. The west mobilises for action, Gaddafi threatens.

Libya has announced an immediate ceasefire across the country in order to protect civilians saying it was complying with demands from the UN Security Council, Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa said.

"Libya has decided an immediate ceasefire and an immediate halt to all military operations,” Koussa told members of the press.

He said that Libya, as a member of the United Nations, was "obliged to accept the UN Security Council's resolutions," adding that Libya would also protect all foreigners and foreign assets in Libya.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said members of the 27-nation bloc were "looking at the details" of the ceasefire offer.

"On the military side, the critical questions will be for the military planners to work out what should be done. The issue of course is what's the significance of the statement on the ceasefire and how that fits in," the AFP cited Ashton’s explanation.

Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi stated on Friday on state television that “hell” awaits anyone who attacks Libya.

Western countries coalition is mobilising on Friday for engaging into air-strikes against Libya, following UN permission of military actions, with purpose of preventing Libyan government’s troops from destroying rebels.

United States, United Kingdom and France are expected to send their aircrafts against Muammar al-Gaddafi’s forces, after they got UN Security Council’s support, AFP reports.

Paris warned that instant military action is ahead.

After the UN SC approved "all necessary measures" to impose a no-fly zone on Libya, French government spokesman Francois Baroin said that the strikes will come "rapidly... within a few hours".

Baroin told RTL radio that the goal of the operation would be to "protect the Libyan people and to wins their demands for freedom, which means bringing down the Gaddafi’s regime".

Canada could join the three military powers, which according to Canadian media plans to send six CF-18 battle aircrafts. Norway said they would take join the operation and Denmark awaits parliament approval before joining the action with their F-16 warplanes. Poland offered logistical support but does not want to participate in a military strike force.

Arab nations could join Western countries in the action, after the Arab League demanded from the international community to impose a no-fly zone in Libya.

Qatar's foreign ministry said the Gulf states would "contribute in the efforts aiming at stopping bloodshed and protecting civilians in Libya" and urged quick action in imposing a no-fly zone, the state news agency reported.

NATO meanwhile was holding a meeting to decide what role, if any, this 28-nation military alliance of North American and European nations, including Turkey, may take as an organisation.

"For any NATO operation, there needs to be a demonstrable need for the alliance to act, firm regional support and a clear legal basis," Oana Lungescu, NATO spokesperson, explained.

In favour of the resolution voted 10 UN SC member stated, five abstained – among them Russia, China and Germany. Noone voted against. Nine votes were necessary for resolution adoption, as well as not having any of permanent Security Council members against.

The members were divided on military intervention, Germany and Turkey expressed disapproval of it. Warning about "considerable risks and dangers" German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that German troops will not take part in military intervention.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe presented the resolution before the Security Council, saying its purpose is to protect Libyan civilians from the attacks of Gaddafi’s “deadly” forces.

The resolution grants permission to the UN member states to take all the necessary steps in order to protect civilians and civilian inhabited areas from the threat of Libyan Arabic Jamahiriya attacks, excluding foreign occupation forces in any form and in any part of Libyan territory.

Additionally, the new resolution strengthens already introduced embargo to weapons and widens the decision on freezing assets and ban on travelling of Tripoli’s leading regime people.

The resolution was jointly proposed by France, Great Britain and Lebanon, which acted on behalf of the Arabic League.

Chinese Foreign Ministry stated on Friday that China is against the use of army force in international relations and that they have doubts about some parts of the resolution text. China also keeps emphasizing the importance of respecting sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Libyaand the necessity of solving crisis through dialogue, the statement reads, and AP reports.

Russia did not veto the resolution. However, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said that “an immediate ceasefire is the shortest way to reliable security of the peaceful population and long-term stabilization in Libya”, reported Itar-Tass.

Russian Ambassador to UN emphasized that “the work on the resolution was not in accordance with existing UN SC practise”. He said that some parts of the text “potentially open the door for a large-scale military intervention”, reported RIA Novosti agency.


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