Ashton: No options for Libya intervention are being ruled out

23:46, March 12, 2011      

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Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said here Saturday that all options for intervention in Libya are being examined.

Ashton also said, however, that the impact of economic and political interventions in the violence-wracked North African country must first be evaluated.

Speaking to the press at the end of a two-day informal meeting of European Union foreign ministers, Ashton said that the EU is united in its call for the Libyan regime to end.

The EU has already imposed economic sanctions on entities such as the Libyan Investment Authority, the central bank, and several financial institutions as well as 27 individuals including Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"It's very important to examine how effective [these sanctions] are and to examine what more could be done," she said.

Regarding the possibility of military intervention, Ashton said, "I don't think we should get into what-ifs, we need to continue the pressure and try to get results. We need to look at all the available options, nothing is being ruled in or ruled out. Our job is to evaluate all those options."

Ashton emphasized that the EU's approach must be supported by Arab countries.

"It's of key importance that we continue to move in step with the Arab world and consult regularly with our partners," she said.

Ashton travels from Budapest to Cairo on Sunday to meet with Amr Moussa, secretary-seneral of the Arab League.

Ashton, who spoke to representatives of the Libyan opposition National Transitional Council on Wednesday, said that the Council was "an interlocutor with whom we can have a dialogue."

She added that the EU is trying to "understand who from the different groups in Libya we can talk with."

Source: Xinhua
 
 
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