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West should not arm Libyan rebels: Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said Moscow believed that foreign powers did not have the right to arm Libyan rebels under the mandate approved by the UN Security Council.

“Recently, the French foreign minister said France was prepared to discuss with its coalition partners the supply of arms for the Libyan opposition,” Lavrov told reporters in reference to Tuesday’s London conference on the crisis.

“Immediately thereafter, the NATO Secretary General Fogh Rasmussen declared that the operation in Libya was being staged to protect the population and not to arm it — and here, we completely agree with the NATO Secretary General.”

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said during Tuesday’s meeting that his country was prepared to discuss with its allies supplying military aid to Libyan rebels fighting Moamer Kadhafi’s forces.