Libya says UN resolution on no-fly zone invalid

13:00, March 20, 2011      

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Libya said late Saturday that it considered invalid a UN resolution on a no-fly zone over the country and demanded an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council after the air strikes by West powers.

Libya "has the right to use its civilian and military aircraft to defend itself after France violated the air exclusion zone," the Libyan Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

French warplanes and Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from U.S. and British warships and submarines attacked the Libyan capital of Tripoli and more than 20 coastal targets Saturday night to clear the way for the enforcement of a UN-mandated no-fly zone.

"The effect of Resolution 1973 imposing a no-fly zone is over" as a result of the Western attacks, the statement said.

"Libya demands an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council after the French-American-British aggression against Libya, an independent state member of the United Nations," it added.

The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 on Thursday to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized "all necessary measures," excluding troops on the ground, to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country.

Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa has declared a cease-fire and an immediate halt of all military operations against the rebels.

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