Tuesday, March 29, 2011

World powers debate fate of Libya in London

World powers meet on Thursday to try to lay the groundwork for a Libya without Muammar Gaddafi. Reuters reports that the London meeting is expected to set up a high-level steering group, including Arab states, to provide political guidance for the international response to the crisis and coordinate long-term support to Libyans.
Britain has invited Mahmoud Jebril, a member of the rebel Libyan National Council, to London although he is not formally invited to the conference, a diplomatic source said.
Some 40 governments and international organizations will discuss stepping up humanitarian aid, and call for a political process to enable Libyans to choose their own future.
Meanwhile the American president Obama said NATO would take over full command of military operations from the United States on Wednesday. Obama vowed to work with allies to hasten Gaddafi's exit from power but said he would not use force to topple him -- as his predecessor President George W. Bush did in ousting Saddam Hussein in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
"To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq," Obama told an audience of military officers in Washington. "But regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya."
Libyan rebels on the road to Sirte (AP)

As militiamen loyal to Muammar Gaddafi braced for a possible rebel attack on Monday on the Libyan leader’s hometown of Sirte, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated his government’s readiness to act as a mediator to broker an early cease-fire. Erdogan said this in an interview with The Guardian that was published on Monday. 'We will take steps to do that within the framework of NATO, the Arab League and African Union, if the two parties to the conflict requested Turkey to play the role of mediator,' Erdoğan said in te interview.
Turkey is assuming control of the Benghazi airport, and sending naval forces to patrol the corridor between the rebel-held city and Crete, as it prepares to join a London meeting on the international response to Libya.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday that Turkey would take control of the airport in order to coordinate humanitarian assistance to the crisis-hit North African country as part of the multinational task force now under NATO command.

No comments: