UNSC approves no-fly zone over Libya

PTI United Nations | Updated on March 18, 2011 Published on March 18, 2011

The UN Security Council has passed a resolution approving a no-fly zone over Libya and authorising “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in the strife-torn African country as the Western forces started planning for concerted efforts to ensure its implementation.

Ten of the 15-member body voted in favour of the resolution which also calls for an immediate ceasefire in Libya. Five nations — China, Russia (which have veto power) and non-permanent members India, Germany and Brazil — abstained from voting.

Soon after the passage of resolution, the US President, Mr Barack Obama, called up his French counterpart, Mr Nicolas Sarkozy, and the British Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron, to discuss on the enforcement of the UNSC resolution in Muammar Gaddafi-ruled Libya.

“The leaders agreed that Libya must immediately comply with all terms of the resolution and that violence against the civilian population of Libya must cease... (they) agreed to coordinate closely on next steps and to continue working with Arab and other international partners to ensure the enforcement of UN Security Council resolutions on Libya,” the White House said in a statement.

The resolution also widens the previous sanctions by imposing asset freezes for seven more of Mr Gaddafi’s supporters and five more entities including the state-owned Libyan companies.

The sanctions included an arms embargo, an asset freeze and travel ban on Mr Gaddafi and his loyalists, and a referral to the Hague-based International Criminal Court.

After the passage of the resolution, which excludes “a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory,” the European Union asked Mr Gaddafi to relinquish power immediately and rapidly embark on an orderly transition to democracy through broad-based dialogue.

“The European Council has called on Col Gaddafi to relinquish power immediately and urged Libya to rapidly embark on an orderly transition to democracy through broad-based dialogue,” the President of the European Council, Mr Herman Van Rompuy, and the EU High Representative, Ms Catherine Ashton, said.

In a statement, they said the European Council of 24-25 March and the Foreign Affairs Council of 21 March will discuss the situation in Libya and adopt the necessary decisions.

“We must ensure that we continue to coordinate closely, together with the UN, the Arab League, the African Union and other international partners on how we can best contribute as soon as possible to the implementation of the decisions of the Security Council,” the EU statement stated.

Published on March 18, 2011
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