- Conflicts - Governance
Arab League discusses Libyan situation as strikes hit Gaddafi compound
The Arab League has met in Egypt to discuss the situation in Libya and a possible collaborative approach with the West over the ongoing military intervention. European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton who joined the meeting in Cairo emphasized the need for a joint approach.
“We have started … prudent, careful planning for all options. What we’re seeking to achieve is a joint approach [Western world and Arab nations] — it recognizes we need to look at all the available options,” Ashton told reporters.
The Arab league have condemned Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s bloody crackdown on his own people, and supported a no-fly zone over the country when the turmoil continued. But following the military action against Libya’s military installations, the Arab authorities have gathered to evaluate their stance.
In retrospect of Arab world concern, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the EU did not want to be dragged into war.
“It is very important that the impression doesn’t arise that this is a conflict of the West against the Arab world or a Christian crusade against people of Muslim faith. We do not want to be drawn into a war in North Africa — we should have learned from the events in and surrounding Iraq.” Westerwelle told reporters.
The Arab League have also postponed an Arab League summit in Iraq originally slated for the end of the month to no later than May 15.
Libya has been banned from attending the Arab League meetings until it meets Arab demands to immediately stop all violence and launch dialogue to guarantee the Libyan people’s security and stability.
As the Arab league authorities continue to deliberate over their position on the military action against Gaddafi’s regime, the EU and U.S. take the lead in the assault to cripple air-defense systems and armor in order to establish a no-fly zone to protect rebel-held areas.
While Arab countries get ready to join western countries to stop Col Gaddafi’s use of force on his people, Qatar has announced that it is sending four planes as part of the coalition to enforce the UN-mandated no-fly zone.
Gaddafi vows to fight the ’flagrant military aggression,’ which has seen French fighter jets and U.S. and British warships, firing more than 110 cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea, struck multiple military targets.
It was rerported Monday morning that a missile strike had destroyed a part of Gaddafi’s command center. And while officials say that Col. Gaddafi is not a target of the strikes that have hit his armed forces and air defense systems, it is not known if the Libyan "Guide" was at the center at the time of the bombing.
Meanwhile, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa is quoted questioning the strikes: "What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians".