UN, NATO informed about France's arms drop in Libya: Juppe

1st July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Members of the UN Security Council and NATO were informed about France's plans to deliver weapons to Libyan rebels, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Friday.

"We informed our partners in NATO and the Security Council about these deliveries," Juppe said after holding talks in Moscow with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

French officials confirmed the arms drop this week but said it only included defensive weapons meant to protect civilians and was therefore in line with existing UN Security Council resolutions on Libya.

"We believe that within the frameworks of Resolutions 1970 and 1973 -- and 1970 as a whole -- it is clear that all means are legitimate for protecting peaceful civilians," Juppe said in reference to two documents adopted in February and March.

The first bans all arms deliveries to Libya -- a move Russia backed -- and the second authorises nations "to take all necessary measures" to help protect civilians against Moamer Kadhafi's forces.

Russia abstained from the second vote and Juppe acknowledged that "we have disagreements".

"But despite this, we will be working together," France's top diplomat added.

Lavrov said that France's interpretation of the resolutions presented at Friday's meeting "allows anyone to do anything for any reason".

"It was precisely this paragraph that caused us problems," said Lavrov in reference to Russia's abstention from the UN Security Council vote in March.

"As we had warned in advance, now we have these very unpleasant situations when things can be interpreted in any number of ways," Lavrov said.

"I think that we and Paris and other permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council should expect to receive documents that are clear."

© 2011 AFP

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