UN Security Council holds Libya talks

14th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The UN Security Council on Monday held talks on Libya, as France said it hoped that Arab League support for a no-fly zone would be a "game-changer" in securing international action.

With Moamer Kadhafi's forces making new ground against opposition rebels, the 15-nation council heard a briefing from a top UN official on the Libya conflict and was to have broad talks about a no-fly zone, diplomats said.

The Arab League on Saturday called for a no-fly zone but the international debate on military measures has been clouded by the African Union's opposition to "military intervention."

"France and the UK, we have been in favor of a no-fly zone for some time so now that there is this Arab League statement we do hope that it is a game-changer for the other members of the council," said French ambassador Gerard Araud as he entered Monday's talks.

He said France wanted to be able to start formal talks on a resolution later this week.

Araud said Lebanon as the current Arab representative on the Security Council would also be working to sway opponents of a no-fly zone, led by China and Russia.

The United States remains cautious about no-fly zones and Germany has indicated it would rather intensify political and economic sanctions first.

The Security Council ordered a travel ban and asset freeze against Kadhafi and members of his regime on February 26. It also ordered an arms embargo against Libya and a crimes against humanity investigation into the Libyan leader's crackdown against opposition protests.

© 2011 AFP

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