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UK criteria for Libya no-fly zone 'satisfied'

UK criteria for Libya no-fly zone 'satisfied'
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The British Foreign Secretary has explained his decision to push the no-fly resolution against Libya at the UN Security Council.

William Hague spoke after the resolution authorizing “all necessary measures“– codename for military action. He said the three criteria that Britain was seeking to see satisfied had been done so.

He said to be able to take action a “demonstrable need” should be present, which Gaddafi’s regime has provided in the recent days. He also said a “legal basis” was required that now the UN resolution provides.

Mr. Hague said the third aspect was a “broad support from within the region itself and that is evident in the statement of the Arab League and in the readiness to participate in a no fly zone, for instance, by members of the Arab League.”

The resolution passed after 10 of the 15 Security Council members voted in favour. There were no votes against but China and Russia were among five abstentions. The vote in New York was attended by Tripoli’s ambassador to the UN, Mohamed Shalgham, who last month publicly denounced the Libyan leader.

The UK as well as France took the lead in drafting the resolution and were co-sponsors. Mr. Hague said:

“We have said all along that Gaddafi must go; that the Libyan people must be able to have a more representative Government and determine their own future. And it is necessary to take these measures to avoid greater bloodshed, to try to stop what is happening in terms of the attacks on civilians and on the people of Libya.”

By Ali Sheikholeslami
London Correspondent