Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa has called for a no-fly zone over crisis-hit Libya, saying the group is recommended to play a part in the imposition of the air exclusion zone.
“I do not know how nor who will impose this zone, that remains to be seen. The Arab League can also play a role, that is what I will recommend,” AFP quoted Moussa as saying on Saturday.
The remarks come as Arab foreign ministers are set to meet in Egypt to discuss a draft resolution, proposed by France and Britain at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for an air exclusion zone over the oil-rich country.
As fierce battles between pro-Gaddafi forces and opposition groups rage on in Libya, the secretary general turned the spotlight on the dire situation on the ground in the North African country, adding that a humanitarian action must be taken to support Libyan people in their fight against the regime.
“I am talking about a humanitarian action. It consists, with a no-fly zone, of supporting the Libyan people in their fight for freedom against a regime that is more and more disdainful.” Moussa noted.
Britain and France have a draft resolution in hand to put to the UNSC for an air exclusion zone over Libya, but the UNSC member states have been at loggerheads over the issue and even allies, Germany and Italy, have sounded words of warning.
The Arab League meeting on Saturday is also expected to be consumed with heated debates as many member states are at odds over how to contain the brewing crisis in Libya.
Gaddafi forces capture Ras Lanuf
On Friday, forces loyal to Gaddafi took control of the strategic oil town of Ras Lanuf, 380 miles, 615 kilometers, southeast of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and shelled around a key oil port, trying to dislodge revolutionary forces from the area.
However, pro-Gaddafi forces have lost vast swathes of Cyrenaica, the country’s fertile eastern coastal region to anti-government forces, who are struggling to penetrate deep into the front line westward toward Tripoli, Gaddafi’s main stronghold.
Libya cuts diplomatic ties with France
The Libyan regime has suspended all diplomatic relations with France a day after Paris officially recognized Libya’s opposition forces as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.
Libya’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Qaid on Saturday stated that “Libya decided to suspend its ties with France,” and that the government of French President Nicolas Sarkozy is seeking to divide the turmoil-hit country.
Reports by human rights groups say that over 6,000 people have been killed so far during the government’s harsh crackdown on Libyan anti-government protesters. Agencies