Libya no-fly zone 'one option among many': Germany

9th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany Wednesday expressed caution about the possibility of a no-fly zone over Libya, saying it was just one option being considered, as pressure grew for action to end the bloodshed in the country.

"A no-fly zone is ... one of the options on the table. We say this option must be discussed very responsibly and very cautiously, particularly a thorough weighing-up of the consequences," a foreign ministry spokesman told reporters.

"We have made clear ... that such an option can only be considered when there is clear legal justification in the form of a mandate from the United Nations Security Council," added the spokesman, Andreas Petschke.

He said that a second precondition was the support of other countries in the region, particularly the Arab League.

Petschke also said that narrowing the debate to a pure discussion of a no-fly zone was "not appropriate", adding that both the UN and the European Union were considering other ways to raise pressure on Moamer Kadhafi's regime.

"More can be done" at the UN, he said. Moreover, decisions on tougher sanctions were likely to be taken at a meeting of EU foreign ministers Thursday, he added.

Arab League foreign ministers will meet Saturday to discuss ways to stop Kadhafi from bombing and strafing his own citizens who are battling the loyalist military for control of the north African country.

A British-French resolution demanding a no-fly zone could go before the UN Security Council as early as this week, diplomats have said.

London and Paris have made the most aggressive calls among Western powers for a no-fly zone.

According to the White House, US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have agreed to press forward with planning a range of possible responses to the ongoing unrest.

These included surveillance, humanitarian assistance, enforcement of the arms embargo and a no-fly zone, said Washington.

© 2011 AFP

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