EU emphasizes key role for Arab countries in Libya crisis

08:48, March 25, 2011      

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EU leaders participating a two-day summit Thursday in Brussels called on Arab countries to play a more active role in dealing with the Libyan crisis.

The European Council "emphasized the key role of Arab countries, and particularly the Arab League" in supporting United Nations Security Council resolutions and in finding a political solution to the Libya crisis, according to an EU statement issued Thursday night.

The EU would work with the League of Arab States, the United Nations and the African Union to end the crisis, and will "assist a new Libya economically and in the building of its new Institutions," the statement said, again calling on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to relinquish power immediately.

The statement came as UN-mandated military operations spearheaded by the United States, France and Britain against the Tripoli regime entered the sixth night.

But despite nearly a week of continuous air assault, Gaddafi remained defiant, vowing on Wednesday that Western powers engaged in military actions in Libya would "end up in the dustbin of history."

The statement said the European Council had noted that "actions taken in conformity with the mandate from the Security Council significantly contributed to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack and helped to save lives of civilians."

The military operations will come to an end, when the civilian populations are safe and secure from the threat of attack and the objectives of Security Council resolutions are met, it said.

So far, EU members including Italy, Denmark, Spain and Belgium have also contributed to the coalition forces, but Germany, Malta and Poland voiced doubts.

Meanwhile, the statement said the EU would continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Libya and that the bloc would impose further restrictive measures against Libyan individuals and groups to cut funding off the Tripoli regime.

"The European Union stands ready to initiate and adopt further sanctions, including measures to ensure that oil and gas revenues do not reach the Gaddafi regime."

EU slapped a fresh round of sanctions against Tripoli Wednesday, targeting individuals and economic entities linking to Gaddafi, including the Libyan National Oil Corporation.

So far, the bloc's sanction list has included more than 30 individuals, as well as entities like Libya's central bank and the Libyan Investment Authority, the overseas investment vehicle for Tripoli's oil revenues.

Source: Xinhua
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