The six Persian Gulf states have expressed their support for the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, while the U.S., U.K. and France try to hammer out an agreement with the United Nations for just such a measure.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) demands that the UN Security Council take all necessary measures to protect civilians, including enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, the six-nation bloc said in a statement.
The GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The GCC statement also referred to the crimes committed against civilians, the use of heavy arms and the recruitment of mercenaries by the Libyan regime.
The foreign minister of the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan, explained that the Gulf nations reached their decision after Libyan officials “refused to allow aid to reach civilians.
He added that those responsible should be brought to justice.
We call on the international community, especially the UN Security Council, to face their responsibilities in helping the dear people, Sheikh Abdullah said in Abu Dhabi.
The meeting is being held amid difficult changes the brotherly Libyan people are going through, prompting us to join our efforts to help them in their crisis.”
Relations between Gaddafi and the Gulf States have long been shaky. During an Arab summit in Doha, Qatar in 2009, Gaddafi publicly insulted Saudi King Abdullah in front of the assembled heads of state.
You are always lying and you're facing the grave and you were made by Britain and protected by the United States, Gaddafi told the king.
France, UK, and US are reportedly preparing a draft text that would include provisions for a no fly zone over Libya and will present it to the UN Security Council.
However, the western powers, Russia and China are divided over a no fly zone policy.
At the UN Security Council we are working closely with partners on a contingency basis on elements of a resolution on a no-fly zone, making clear the need for regional support, a clear trigger for such a resolution and an appropriate legal basis, said British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Russia expressed sits opposition.
The Libyans must resolve their problems themselves, said Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
China is also expected to oppose a no fly zone proposal.