Arab League supports no-fly zone
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The Arab League, and its chief Amr Mussa (pictured), has officially called on the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. The League has also opened contact with the rebel Libyan National Council in Benghazi.
REUTERS - The Arab League said on Saturday it had called on the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone in Libya, in a decision that will provide the regional support NATO has said is needed for any military action.
Libyan rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi have said a no-fly zone to ground Libyan warplanes and to prevent the moving of troops by helicopter is vital if its forces are to succeed.
“The Arab League has officially requested the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone against any military action against the Libyan people,” Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa told a news conference after a meeting of the group.
The zone should be lifted once the crisis had ended, Moussa said. Oman’s foreign minister said all Arab states had agreed on the need for a no-fly zone to protect Libyans.
The Arab League said it rejected any “foreign military” intervention against the Libyan people and it had opened contact with the rebel Libyan National Council in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi that included contacts on humanitarian affairs.
The League suspended Libya for its crackdown on the anti-Gaddafi uprising and at a March 2 meeting said the imposition of a no-fly zone was an option it was considering.
European states have been looking to the Arab League to take the lead in shaping policy towards the revolt.
Hafiz Ghoga, a member of the rebel council based in Benghazi, had told Al Jazeera television he expected the Arab League to approve a no-fly zone. “The indications are positive that there will be a clear Arab position, especially with respect to a no-fly zone,” he said.