Gulf Arabs defend involvement in Libya, slam Iran

Hague: Arab League supports air strikes on Libya; coalition forces hit Gaddafi residence after US rejects Libyan army ceasefire.

By REUTERS
March 21, 2011 09:56
1 minute read.
Rebel fighter runs for cover in front of vehicles

Libya bombing 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)

ABU DHABI - Gulf Arab states reject Iranian and other foreign interference in their internal affairs and said Qatar and the United Arab Emirates were taking part in Libyan military operations for "safety and security".

"We reject any intervention in our internal affairs and among these countries is Iran," Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary-General Abdulrahman al-Attiyah told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi, responding to questions about Saudi and UAE troops helping the government in Bahrain.

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Asked about UAE and Qatari involvement in a Western military operation against Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, he said: "We are within the coalition for safety and security according to the UN resolution."

Also on Monday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Arab League still supports air strikes on Libya to enforce a no-fly zone.

Hague said he had spoken to Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa after Moussa was quoted as saying he did not want military strikes that hit civilians.

"Of course he was expressing his concern, as we as all do, about any civilian casualities," Hague told BBC Radio 4. "He continued to support the UN resolution, the implementation of the resolution."



Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's "command and control capability" was destroyed late Sunday in an airstrike on an administrative building in Tripoli, an official of the international coalition intervening in Libya told AFP.

According to the report, the strike hit the compound housing Gaddafi's residence in Tripoli.

It was unclear where Gaddafi was at the time of the blast.

"The coalition is actively enforcing UNSCR (UN Security Council Resolution) 1973, and that in keeping with that mission, we continue to strike those targets which pose a direct threat to the Libyan people and to our ability to implement the no-fly zone," the official was quoted as saying by AFP.

The administrative building, which was located about 50 meters from Gaddafi's tent, was flattened, AFP reported.


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