From the first roots of unrest in Benghazi to the green light for international force in the offices of the United Nations, how has the global reaction to Libya evolved?
Track the diplomatic exchanges here in chronological order.
Mid-February – The revolt in Libya starts. On February 18 Human Rights Watch reports 84 deaths since the beginning of riots.
February 22 – The Arab League suspends Libyan delegates from its meetings.
– The UN Security Council calls for an end to the use of force against protesters and reminds the Libyan government it must “meet its responsibility to protect its population.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls the situation “unacceptable” and says it must “immediately stop.”
February 24 – European Union diplomats meet to discuss sanctions. These include an EU travel ban, an asset freeze and an arms embargo. The EU suspends negotiations on bilateral relations with Libya. – Switzerland decides to freeze Muammar Gaddafi’s Swiss assets.
February 26 – The UN Security Council announces sanctions against Libya. They include an arms embargo, a travel ban and an asset freeze on Gaddafi’s family and other regime figures. It also refers the situation to the International Criminal Court.
– US President Barack Obama says Gaddafi has “lost the legitimacy to rule” and must leave “now”.
February 28 – Libya’s own ambassador to the UN breaks down in tears at a Security Council meeting and denounces Gaddafi, adding “please United Nations, save Libya.”
– The European Union adopts sanctions against Gaddafi and his closest allies: an arms embargo and an asset freeze.
March 1 – The UN General Assembly suspends Libya from the Human Rights Council .
March 3 – Following Resolution 1970 of the UN Security Council, the International Criminal Court launches an investigation against Gaddafi, his sons and his close circle for crimes against humanity.
March 5 – The National Transition Council (NTC, set up by anti-Gaddafi rebels in Benghazi) declare themselves the only true representatives of Libya.
March 8 – The EU strengthens its financial sanctions.
– Like the Arab monarchies of the Gulf, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) announces its support for a ‘no-fly’ zone suggested by Britain and France.
March 10 – France becomes the first country to recognise the NTC as the “legitimate representative of the Libyan people.”
March 11 – The leaders of the 27 EU countries organise a special summit to discuss Libya . They say unanimously that Gaddafi must leave power immediately but the German Chancellor says she is sceptical about a ‘no-fly’ zone proposed by Britain and France.
March 12 – The Arab League asks the UN to authorise a ‘no-fly’ zone.
March 17 – The UN Security Council passes a resolution in favour of military force against Gaddafi’s forces, including the imposition of a ‘no-fly’ zone and air strikes against Libyan army targets. Ten Council members voted in favour of the resolution which was brought to the council by France, Britain and Lebanon. Russia, China, India, Brazil and Germany abstained from voting.
Libya: a timeline of international diplomacy