NATO shouldn’t arm Libyan rebels – Lavrov
Libya’s opposition is pulling NATO into a civil war by asking for military support, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated in Moscow on Wednesday, noting that this wasn’t approved by the Security Council.
Libyan rebel military leader, General Abdul-Fatah Younis, recently reproached NATO for the sluggishness of its actions, saying that the rebels are swift to inform NATO on Gaddafi’s troops, while NATO takes too long to make decisions. Younis threatened to ask the UN to stop the operation if NATO doesn’t change its ways.
However, Russia wants an explanation for NATO’s possible arming of Libyan rebels, Lavrov stated:
"The UN should be considering the Libyan issue on a regular basis, whatever the calls from Benghazi or Tripoli might be. NATO is still following resolution 1973, being accountable to the UN. The UN Secretary General has his envoy in he country, Jordan’s ex-FM , Abdul Ilah Al Khatib who deals with humanitarian and political aspects of the crisis and who has already reported on the situation in the country. Russia is also interested in the opinion of the Arab League and the African Union."
Recently, Russia’s Deputy Premier Sergey Ivanov was rather pessimistic about the issue. He said that drawing out the war in Libya may result in a Somalia scenario, splitting the country into several weak states with high crime rates, including piracy. Thus, the conflict needs to be solved diplomatically.
Meanwhile, some Western countries have begun to change their position. General Carter F. Ham, the current Commander of the U.S. Africa Command, who is in charge of enforcing the no-fly zone above Jamahiriya recently stated that Washington has a right to an independent campaign in Libya respective of NATO’s actions. Earlier the Obama Administration decided to withdraw US warships and jets, which were bombing Gaddafi’s supporters .
Still, the EU seems to be firm on the issue , as its President Herman Van Rompuy continuing to insist that EU involvement has saved thousands of civilian lives in Libya.
[Source: The Voice of Russia, Moscow, 06Apr11]
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