Hours after the vote on a resolution at the Security Council authorizing the use of force in Libya, Ali Sheikholeslami, euronews’ London correspondent, interviewed Nick Clegg, the British Deputy Prime Minister.
Ali Sheikholeslami, Euronews: Is the British government satisfied with the ceasefire pledge by the Gaddafi regime?
Nick Clegg: “It’s very difficult to be honest to tell exactly what is happening on the ground. There is some evidence right now he is continuing to brutalise some citizens in the west of Libya even though he is declaring a ceasefire in the east so we need, sort of, to see it to believe it.”
Euronews: Are you and your partners continuing the military preparations for the enforcement of the UN resolution?
Nick Clegg: Absolutely. Of course we have mobilised international opinion which, of course, has been led by opinion within the Arab world itself. Lebanon was a co-sponsor, a number of countries in the region, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, who said that they would get involved in the military undertaking, so this really is a broadly based international coalition of opinion reflected in the United Nations.”
Euronews: Can you tell us anything about the logistics?
Nick Clegg: “Well not really, in a sense it’s fairly obvious. The UN resolution speaks for itself. It mandates the international community to take action, all necessary measures to protect those Libyan citizens who are being attacked and brutalised by the Gaddafi regime.”
Euronews: Will there be immediate military action, if the Libyan forces breach the ceasefire?
Nick Clegg: “The UN was very clear, the international community was very clear. It wants to see an end, an absolute end to these needless, senseless and brutal attacks on the Libyan people. And until the international community is satisfied that that is happening, the UN resolution will still be unfulfilled.”
Euronews: Will British forces and the allies also strike at ground targets and troops to protect civilians?
Nick Clegg: “We are not, let’s be absolutely clear, we are not going to a war. This is no Iraq, there’s going to be no invasion of Libya. The UN resolution very clearly rules out, absolutely rules out any ground invasion (of Libya). But clearly if Gaddafi’s own ground troops are menacing and attacking and brutalising innocent Libyan citizens then we would take military action from the air in order to seek to stop them doing that. That is squarely within the terms of the resolution.”