Libya declares cease-fire as EU leaders plan military strikes
France, which spearheaded last night's unexpectedly strong UN Security Council resolution on Libya, said today that strikes on Muammar Qaddafi's forces would commence 'soon.'
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Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa criticized the "strange ... use of military power. This goes clearly against the UN charter."Skip to next paragraph
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Europe divided on no-fly zone
Europe has been divided on a “no-fly” measure in Libya, where UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reported that more than 1,000 Libyans have been killed in fighting in the past month.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been the most adamantly opposed to a "no-fly" zone. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé yesterday cancelled a meeting with Ms. Merkel to instead fly to New York as it became clear that new momentum for a broader Security Council resolution was in play.
Germany's Ambassador to the UN Peter Wittig expressed skepticism at the Security Council on Wednesday, saying the body should not move forward on the optimistic assumption that “quick results with few casualties will be achieved.” Germany abstained from the vote Thursday night.
Cameron told his parliament Friday the case for military intervention resulted from “exceptional circumstances.” He said the situation met three tests – need, regional support, and a legal basis – for determining international involvement.
"We can't stand back and let a dictator kill his people," he said, noting that the people of Libya – as well as the Arab League – had called for international help. "We can't have a failed pariah state on ... Europe's southern border."
France takes the lead
Even before the UN resolution, France took the lead in coming to the rebels' aid. It was the first nation to recognize the Libyan opposition. President Sarkozy battled German doubts over a “no-fly” zone to overcome France’s initial tepid response to the “Arab spring” revolutions.
In a Wednesday letter to members of the UN Security Council, Mr. Sarkozy said: "Together, we can save the martyred people of Libya. It is now a matter of days, if not hours."