Dutch PM joins Paris Libya meeting

19th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, has attended a meeting of Western and Arab leaders in the French capital Paris to discuss how to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya agreed by the United Nations Security Council on Friday. Mr Rutte told reporters in Paris The Netherlands is ready to help impose the no-fly zone.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is being seen as the driving force behind international efforts to protect civilian lives in war-torn Libya. UN resolution 1973 authorises "all necessary measures" short of a full-fledged occupation to stop Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's troops from attacking civlians. A few hours after the meeting in Paris ended, the French authorities said French military jets had carried out the first reconnaissance flights over Libyan territory.

The meeting came a day after Libya announced a cease-fire in response to the UN resolution. On Saturday morning, however, a message by Colonel Gaddafi said the UN was not authorized to intervene in Libya's internal affairs and forces loyal to the Libyan leader launched a massive assault on the main rebel stronghold of Benghazi in the east of the country. Scores of frightened civilians are fleeing the besieged city towards the Egyptian border.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

0 Comments To This Article