Russia says focus on implementing sanctions on Libya

1st March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The international community should focus on implementing sanctions against Tripoli before considering a no-fly zone over Libya, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.

Asked if he supported the idea of a no-fly zone being weighed up by some Western countries, Lavrov pointed out that a UN Security Council resolution that imposes sanctions on Moamer Kadhafi's regime was passed just two days ago.

"I think we must avoid becoming agitated and should focus on putting in place" this resolution first, he told journalists in Geneva.

The Security Council on Saturday unanimously ordered a travel and assets ban as well as arms embargo on Kadhafi's regime. It also ordered a crimes against humanity probe into the regime's heavy-handed repression of protestors.

As a further measure to end the crisis in Libya, the United States and some European states such as Britain are considering imposing a no-fly zone over the north African state to prevent the regime from bombarding its population by air.

But Lavrov said the no-fly zone question was not raised during his meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council meeting on Monday.

"We discussed the situation in Libya, and in the Middle East and north Africa, but in no way was a no-fly zone raised," said Lavrov.

"There are no proposals on this at the moment," he said.

"We believe that all new proposals should be raised and studied by the UN Security Council," he stressed.

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd voiced his support for the no-fly zone plan, although his Canadian counterpart said that there was no consensus among allies for the proposal.

© 2011 AFP

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