Libyan anti-Gaddafi protesters 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
The UN Security Council on Saturday began urgent deliberations to consider imposing sanctions to punish Libya for violent attacks against anti-government protesters.
RELATED:UNSC draft: May be 'crimes against humanity' in LibyaObama: Gaddafi's gov't must be held accountablePro-Gaddafi militias fire on protesters in Libyan capital
The sanctions under consideration at Saturday's session include an arms embargo against the Libyan government and a travel ban and asset freeze against Gaddafi, his relatives and key regime members.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging council members to take concrete action to protect civilians in Libya where some estimates indicate more than 1,000 people have been killed in less than two weeks.
The council is also considering whether to refer the violent crackdown in Libya to the International Criminal Court to investigate charging the Gaddafi regime with crimes against humanity.
Earlier on Saturday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the United Nations not to impose any sanctions
, warning that the Libyan people would suffer most, not Muammar Gaddafi's regime.
also suggested the international community might be acting more out of
concern about Libya's oil reserves than about the welfare of the
"The people are already struggling to find food, how will you feed the Libyan people?" Erdogan asked. "Sanctions, an intervention, would force the Libyan people, who are already up against hunger and violence, into a more desperate situation."
"We call on the international community to act with conscience, justice,
laws and universal humane values — not out of oil concerns," he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David
Cameron talked on the phone Saturday and agreed the UN Security Council
should approve harsh sanctions against the Libyan regime as soon as
possible, Merkel's spokesman, Christoph Steegmans said in a statement.
Merkel and Cameron also were in favor of sanctions against Libya by the European Union, he said.