World must speak as one on Libya: Ban tells Arabs

AFP , Monday 21 Mar 2011

The UN declares the importance of an outspoken international community

UN chief Ban Ki-moon told the Arab League on Monday that it was vital the world speak as one on Libya, in comments while standing alongside the Arab bloc's secretary general.

"It is important that the international community speak with one voice to implement the second council resolution," he said referring to a UN Security Council passed on Thursday authorising military action to prevent Muammar Kaddafi's forces from attacking civilians.

Ban told reporters that "strong and decisive measures" had only been possible because of the support given by the Arab League on March 12 for a UN-imposed no-fly zone over Libya.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa had courted controversy on Sunday by speaking out against the air and missile strikes launched by an international coalition against Libya, saying they exceed the bounds set by Resolution 1973.

"What has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone and what we want is the protection of civilians and not bombing other civilians," Mussa told reporters.

"From the start we requested only that a no-fly zone be set up to protect Libyan civilians and avert any other developments or additional measures," he added.
Mussa said on Monday that his comments had been "misinterpreted".

"We are commmitted to the UNSC Resolution 1973, we have no objection to this decision, particularly as it does not call for an invasion of Libyan territory," the League chief said.

"We are working in coordination with the United Nations to protect the civilians in Libya," he added.

Mussa said his comments on Sunday had been motivated by concerns about civilians being caught up in the coalition strikes, as Arab governments did not want to see more deaths in Libya.

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