Arab League chief: Goal in Libya is to protect civilians, not regime change
Amr Moussa – departing secretary general of the Arab League and Egyptian presidential candidate – discusses the no-fly zone intervention in Libya and Qaddafi's exit. He also touches on Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria and the future of Egypt's relationship with Israel and the Palestinians.
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Moussa: I hope this won’t happen. That’s why the situation in Yemen has to come to a quick solution and perhaps consensus solution in order to prevent further deterioration that would perhaps lead to that.Skip to next paragraph
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In Yemen there is an opposition, there are demonstrations, and there are clear requests from the people. They all have their own grievances. Therefore, we need to know what happened to those demands and how the government is dealing with them.
Moussa: I believe that we need in Yemen more clear steps in order to satisfy the situation.
Dergham: Should he step down?
Moussa: This is left for the people themselves, his people. They should tell him, and they should respond to him. It is not my call as the secretary general of the Arab League to say that.
We aren't using different yardstick for Bahrain
Dergham: And Bahrain?
Moussa: Bahrain is a different situation but also cause for concern.
Dergham: It seems different yardsticks are being applied in the Arab world?
Moussa: Why different yardsticks? Why? We have done the right thing when we resorted to the Security Council in Libya. There will be no different yardsticks. We saw the situation in Libya, and we are going to consider the situation in other Arab countries and then decide what to do.
We don't have the full picture in Syria
Dergham: You haven’t said much about Syria. Why so quiet so far?
Moussa: Because the situation there is still unclear.
Dergham: Do you want to wait until a lot of people die before it is clear?
Moussa: No, certainly not. We do not have the full picture as to what is going on. Is it in Deraa alone, or is there violence and crackdown in other places?
Dergham: You have seen the people asking for change, and you supported them strongly in Egypt, but you are hesitant to support them in Syria?
There are demonstrations, and people are dead and people are wounded in Syria. What is your message as secretary general of the Arab League on that issue?
Moussa: I am certainly on the side of the free expression of the people, and I am certainly on the side of revolutions and the new uprising in the Arab world. No question about that.
Elections in Egypt: We need more time
Moussa: My question was whether to have the parliamentary elections first or after. In all cases, there will be elections, parliamentary elections. So, it is a question of priorities, and the difference is three months. It has nothing to do with fear or concern.