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Arab League urges Libya no-fly zone

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Arab League urges Libya no-fly zone

2011-03-13 05:14:34 GMT+7 (ICT)

CAIRO (BNO NEWS) -- The Arab League on Saturday called on the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya in an effort to protect civilians.

The resolution, which came after a six-hour meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, also called for the League to hold dialogue with the opposition Libyan National Council, the DPA news agency reported.

"The Arab League has officially requested the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone against any military action against the Libyan people," secretary general Amr Moussa said in televised press a statement.

The Libyan delegation, which arrived in Cairo on Friday but didn't attend the meeting, delivered a message to Moussa, asking the Arab League not to endorse any foreign military intervention in the North African country.

The European Union's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, is expected to meet with Moussa in Cairo on Monday for talks on Libya.

The United States welcomed the decision and said the Arab League has taken an "important step."

"The international community is unified in sending a clear message that the violence in Libya must stop, and that the Gaddafi regime must be held accountable," a White House statement said.

The United Kingdom also welcomed the Arab League's call for a no-fly zone saying that it was very significant since it showed "important regional support."

"The outcome of today's Arab League meeting shows Gaddafi's actions do not have support in the region. In brutally repressing a popular uprising by his own people, it is clear he is isolated and ignoring the will of the international community," a spokesperson for the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office said.

The North African nation has been plunged into chaos as massive anti-government protests continue nationwide, resulting in a violent crackdown by security forces which included aerial bombardments on protesters. At least 1,000 and as many as 10,000 people are believed to have been killed in the uprising, but confirmed information has been difficult to obtain due to reporting restrictions by Libyan authorities.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-03-13

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