A chorus of voices from government officials around the world have condemned (or at least questioned) the decision by a handful of western countries (in tandem with some Arab allies) to launch air strikes on military targets in Libya.
Five members of the United Nations Security Council -- Brazil, China, India, Russia and Germany – abstained from a vote on the imposition of a no-fly zone in Libya (signaling their opposition to it). However, many other states have also expressed their indignation to the military campaign in Libya.
Here are a sampling of such comments from government officials and scholars who are opposed to foreign intervention in Libya:
“What is happening in a country, within their internal affairs, no external powers should interfere in it. Nobody, not a couple of countries, can take that decision to change a particular regime. Whether a regime will change or not will depend on the people of that particular country, not by any external forces.
--Pranab Mukherjee, India’s finance minister
“We’ve seen reports that the use of armed force is causing civilian casualties, and we oppose the wanton use of armed force leading to more civilian casualties. [The countries engaged in air strikes] should follow the objective and principle of the UN Charter and international laws, and respect Libya's sovereignty, independence, unification and territorial integrity. The UN resolution on no-fly zone over Libya aimed to protect civilians. We oppose abuse of force causing more civilian casualties and more serious humanitarian disasters.”
--Jiang Yu, spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry
“Historical experience has shown that humanitarian intervention is only an excuse for military intervention into other countries domestic affairs. They claim to be motivated by morality but in fact they are driven by narrow political and economic interests.”
--Tang Zhichao, scholar at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations
We have seen in the past that such operations are of no use and that on the contrary, they increase loss of life, transform into occupation and seriously harm the countries' unity. Naturally, we will question the Paris meeting, naturally we will criticize it. We do not want Libya to become a second Iraq. A civilization in Iraq collapsed within eight years. More than a million people were killed there. We will not participate with our fighting forces. It is impossible for us to think that our fighters drop bombs over Libyan people.”
--Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
We urge [all sides] to do everything to end the violence.
--Russia defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov
Undoubtedly, many developing countries see a dangerous precedent in the Western attacks and intervention (in Libya) in what is fundamentally a civil war.”
--Shi Yinhong, professor of international security at Renmin University in Beijing.
“India views with grave concern the continuing violence, strife and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya. It regrets the air strikes that are taking place. The measures adopted should mitigate and not exacerbate an already difficult situation for the people of Libya.”
--Government of India
India calls upon all parties to abjure violence and the use of threat and force to resolve the differences. I think the need of the hour is cessation of armed conflict.”
--India's Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna
“The impression that Germany is isolated in Europe or the international community is completely wrong. Many other countries in the European Union not only understand our position, not only respect it, but also share it. The apparently simple solution of imposing a no-fly zone raises more questions than it answers. We do not want to be sucked into a position of eventually seeing German soldiers fighting in Libya. Over the last few weeks the people of the Arab world have taken charge of their own destiny and we Europeans stand by them.”
-- Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s foreign minister
Following the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, a military strike against Libya is the third time in this century that a number of countries wielded force against a sovereign state. It should be noted that attempts to resolve the crisis using military means affects the U.N. Charter and the norms governing international relations. In today's world where some people with the Cold War mentality are still keen on the use of force, people have reason to express concerns about the effects of the military action.”
--editorial in The People’s Daily, China's main newspaper
The resolution [on the no-fly zone] is defective and flawed. It allows everything. It resembles medieval calls for crusades.”
--Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
In that respect we call on countries involved to stop the non-selective use of force.”
--Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.
Firstly, there is a procedure in international law for such a coalition. We believe that these procedures have not been fully respected for Libya. We have expressed our support to the resolution. However, the goal should be to ensure transportation of humanitarian aid, stop clashes in Libya by the help of weapons embargo and no-fly zone. The goal should not be to start a full scale war.
--Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
It seems impossible for us to understand France being so prominent in this process. We are having difficulty in understanding it being like the enforcer of United Nations' decisions.
--Turkey's Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul
“We are not participating for the simple reason that (the allied campaign) does not have formulated objectives and ways to achieve them. I would not let our pilots into an adventure like this. Petrol and who will exploit Libya's oil fields are to a great extent the interests behind this operation. There are many African countries where hundreds of thousands were killed, where unrest is ongoing... But there are no operations conducted there. I hope that today NATO will take over command so that at least we know who is in charge.”
-- Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov
“In my view there should have been a common NATO stance, hammered out before the strikes began and not now when the military intervention is already a fact We should not allow the 'coalition of the willing' format to turn into a tradition. When it becomes a tendency, it is worth it to start considering the meaning and state of the alliance.”
--Bulgarian President Georgy Parvanov
Pakistan is following, with serious concern, the developments in Libya in the wake of the military strikes. The loss of precious human lives is indeed regrettable. Peaceful political solution needs to be evolved by the Libyan people themselves in the spirit of mutual accommodation and national reconciliation. Stability, peace and unity of Libya are of paramount importance. Reports of civilian casualties are extremely distressing and raise serious questions and could have far-reaching implications about interpretation and implementation of humanitarian principles. Pakistan has always upheld the principles of respect for the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of states as well as the principles of non-intervention and non-interference in internal affairs. These principles are universal and must be respected in Libya. It is imperative that all sides adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and relevant norms of international law.”
--Pakistani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar
We reiterate, in line with the UNSC Resolution 1973… the need for a dialogue within Libya to find a peaceful solution to the current crisis in keeping with the aspirations of the Libyan people.”
--Bangladeshi foreign ministry
Arabs and the Libyans did not understand the extent to which the West could interpret that resolution and give it a broader interpretation rather than a narrower one which would limit their supervision of the no fly zone to strictly the air and to then prevent Libya its aircraft. The Arabs are strongly backed by France and Britain, which drafted elements of a no-fly resolution last week. And this was the thinking of the Arabs and the thinking of the Africans, but not the Westerners, in the same hypocritical way as before, interpreted it to mean permission under it to bombard any places of their own choice in Libya, including civilian places, even the home of Gaddafi!
--President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe
As South Africa, we say no to the killing of civilians, no to the regime-change doctrine and no to the foreign occupation of Libya or any other sovereign state. We call for an immediate ceasefire in Libya and an end to attacks on civilians.”
--South African President Jacob Zuma
“The U.S. launched a military attack on Libya in collusion with some Western countries on March 19. It openly interfered in the internal affairs of Libya, sparking off a civil war, and then cooked up a deceptive resolution by abusing the authority of the UN Security Council. It finally perpetrated indiscriminate armed intervention in the country, going beyond the limits of the resolution. The [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] DPRK strongly denounces this as a wanton violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of an independent state and a hideous crime against humanity in gross breach of the dignity of the Libyan people and their right to existence.
Such war action can never be justified and should be halted at once. The world is witnessing almost every day the miserable death of a great many peaceable citizens and unspeakable disasters caused by two wars launched by the U.S. in the new century. Not content with this, the U.S. sparked a fresh war disaster in order to bring about a regime change in the country incurring its displeasure under the spurious signboard of ‘protecting civilians’ and put the natural resources of Libya under its control.
The U.S. does not hesitate to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and launch armed invasion by abusing the UN name in disregard of the sovereignty of independent states. Such high-handed and arbitrary practices of the U.S. have become a root cause of harassing world peace and stability at present. The present Libyan crisis teaches the international community a serious lesson.
It was fully exposed before the world that “Libya′s nuclear dismantlement” much touted by the U.S. in the past turned out to be a mode of aggression whereby the latter coaxed the former with such sweet words as “guarantee of security” and “improvement of relations” to disarm itself and then swallowed it up by force. It proved once again the truth of history that peace can be preserved only when one builds up one′s own strength as long as high-handed and arbitrary practices go on in the world. The DPRK was quite just when it took the path of Songun and the military capacity for self-defense built up in this course serves as a very valuable deterrent for averting a war and defending peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.”
--Foreign ministry of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)
[The Western powers] claim they want to defend the people by carrying out military operations or by entering Libya... You did not come to defend the people, you've come after Libya's oil. Iran condemns the military action in Libya,
--Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
[The western military forces] are throwing bombs, and those bombs fell down on any place such as a hospital or a house. That is something imperialistic, the indiscriminate bombings. Who gave those countries the right to bomb Libya?”
--Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
Cuba supports the inalienable right of the Libyan people to exercise its self-determination without foreign interference, condemns the killing of civilians in Libya and in any other places, and supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty over the resources of this nation.”