UN Security Council to meet on Libya

08:52, March 22, 2011      

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The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet behind closed doors on Monday afternoon on the current situation in Libya as the West-led air strikes on Libya are coming under increasing international attacks.

The 15-nation Security Council is set to hold closed consultations on Libya at 3:00 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) on Monday, UN officials said.

The meeting will take place at the request of the Libyan government, headed by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, diplomats told Xinhua on Monday.

Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kousa wrote a letter to the Security Council, calling for "an emergency meeting" to discuss what he said "an external conspiracy" in "targeting the Jamahiriya and its unity and territorial integrity."

"I emphasized that an external conspiracy was targeting the Jamahiriya and its unity and territorial integrity," the foreign minister said in the letter obtained by Xinhua. "I also pointed out that the Security Council had been drawn into implementing this conspiracy by its adoption of resolutions 1970 (2011) and 1973 (2011), under which a ban was imposed on all aviation in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya."

"By taking this decision, the Security Council has paved the way for military aggression against Libyan territory," Kousa said. "France and the United States have bombarded several civilian sites, thereby violating all international norms and instruments, most notably the Charter of the United Nations, which provides for non-intervention in the affairs of Member States."

"The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya calls on the Security Council to hold an emergency meeting in order to halt this aggression, which is not aimed at protecting civilians, as is purported, but rather to strike civilian sites, economic facilities and site belonging to the Armed Peoples on Duty," Kousa said.

The Security Council adopted a resolution on Thursday to impose a no-fly zone over Libya in order to protect the Libyan civilians from threat of attacks in the North African country.

China and Russia, the two permanent members with veto power on the Council, and Brazil, Germany and India, the three non- permanent Council members, abstained from the voting on the draft resolution, which was presented by France, Lebanon, Britain and the United States. Lebanon is one of the 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council.

On Saturday, France, Britain and the United States launched air strikes against Libya.

On Monday, Russian Prime Minister Vladmir Putin criticized the West-led military actions against Libya, saying that their military strikes were based on a "flawed" Security Council resolution, reports said.

The new UN resolution "is surely, flawed and lame... it allows intervention in a sovereign country," Putin said.

Speaking in the town of Votkinsk, Russia's military-industrial "capital" in Udmurt republic, Putin also lashed out at the role of the United States in the actions against Libya.

"Use of force against other countries became a steady trend in the U.S. policy," Putin said, adding that this trend was " disturbing."

On Sunday, Amr Mussa, the secretary general of the Arab League, criticized the international coalition force's bombing which hit civilians in Libya. He told reporters that "what has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone and what we want is the protection of civilians and not bombing other civilians."

Mussa called for an emergency meeting of the Arab League on the current situation of Libya.

The Arab League endorsed the no-fly zone in its March 12 decision at the end of an emergency meeting on Libya.

"From the start, we requested only that a no-fly zone be set up to protect Libyan civilians and avert other developments or additional measures," Mussa said.

Also on Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is visiting Egypt, called on Libyan authorities to end violence against civilians.

Libyan authorities in the capital, Tripoli, declared a cease- fire on Sunday in their battle with opposition forces.

Source: Xinhua
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