The European Union has welcomed the UN Security Council’s resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya as the head of the European Parliament said “there was no time to waste” to enforce it.
In a joint statement, EU president Herman Van Rompuy and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said they welcomed the resolution and fully endorsed “the UN demand for a complete end to the violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians”.
Reiterating the 27-nation bloc’s call for Muammar Gaddafi to relinquish power immediately, they urged Libya to rapidly embark on an orderly transition to democracy through broad-based dialogue.
Voicing “grave concern for the situation of the population”, they said “the safety of the people must be ensured by all necessary means”.
Resolution 1973 “provides a clear legal basis for the members of the international community to provide protection to the civilian population,” the statement said.
“The European Union is ready to implement this Resolution within is mandate and competences,” they said.
The EU also underlined the role of the Arab League and its Arab partners, saying “their cooperation is essential and their role is clearly recognised by the Resolution.”
“We must ensure that we continue to coordinate closely, together with the United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union and other international partners on how we can best contribute as soon as possible to the implementation of the decisions of the Security Council,” the statement added.
In a separate statement, the president of the European Parliament, Poland’s Jerzy Buzek, said he was “pleased” and “relieved” that the United Nations had agreed to take action in Libya.
“It was high time for the Security Council to decide,” he said.
“I am glad and relieved that the international community has finally taken concrete action to stop Gaddafi killing his own people.
“There is no more time to waste to implement the no-fly zone.” Agencies