French arms sales to Libya in breach of UN resolution - Lavrov

France's distribution of weapons to Libyan tribes, if confirmed, is a blatant violation of the UN Security Council resolution, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

"We asked our French colleagues today if reports are true that weapons to Libyan rebels came from France. We are waiting for their answer," Lavrov said. "This, if confirmed, is a serious breach of the UN Security Council Resolution 1970."

French media reported that weapons were dropped to Berber tribal fighters in the mountains southwest of the Libyan capital Tripoli without informing the other coalition countries taking part in a military operation against Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi. Reports said the load included anti-tank rockets and even light armored vehicles.

Thierry Burkhard, spokesman for the French general staff, confirmed on Wednesday that arms distribution took place but said only light arms and ammunition were airdropped.

Libya has been rocked with anti-Gaddafi protests since mid-February. The international military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution and was extended until late September.

[Source: RIA Novosti, Moscow, 30Jun11]

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