UN Security Council Agrees on No-fly Zone for Libya

World | March 17, 2011, Thursday // 08:04|  views

The UN Security Council is to vote on the draft resolution of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya after lengthy and tough negotiations. Photo by BGNES

The UN Security Council has agreed late Wednesday on a draft resolution aimed at authorizing a no-fly zone.

The agreement came after lengthy and difficult negotiations and the resolution will be voted Thursday, the Bulgarian news agency BTA reports.

Russia has strong reservations about military action, as does China, and instead offered a counter resolution calling first for a ceasefire.

Until Wednesday, the international community did not have a common position on sanctions against Libya, especially the no-fly zone, which is considered a military operation.

The draft resolution has been submitted by Lebanon in the name of the Arab League. It is supported by France and the UK, and, in addition to the no-fly zone, it insists on revoking the rights of the Libyan flag carrier "Libyan Air" to land, take-off and fly over the territory of other countries.

French President, Nickolas Sarkozy, has sent to the 15-member council a letter where he is asking them to assume their duty and support the initiative.

Meanwhile, Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi gave the rebels from the uprising stronghold Benghazi an ultimatum to surrender in exchange of amnesty and ordered all military units in the eastern parts of the country to join the advancing government troops. In an interview for the Libyan TV, he called the operation a humanitarian action.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warns of a large number of civilian casualties of Gaddafi forces undertake an attack on air and on land.

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Tags: UN, Security Council, draft resolution, no-fly zone, Libya, negotiations, Muammar Gaddafi, Nickolas Sarkozy, Ban Ki-moon, Benghazi, rebels, France, UK, Russia, China


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