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February 28, 2011

France: No-Fly Zone Over Libya - Only With UN Approval

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Tuesday there should not be any international intervention into the bloody upheaval in Libya without prior approval from the United Nations.

Juppe told lawmakers that as of Tuesday no military intervention, including the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya, was planned.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday ruled out the idea of a no-fly zone over Libya, calling the suggestion "superfluous."

French government spokesman Francois Baroin said humanitarian aid, not military action, should be the way to deal with the violence in Libya.

The remarks Tuesday come as the United States is urging stronger international action against Tripoli, where fighting continues over the ouster of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Washington said Monday it is moving military ships and aircraft closer to Libya, while Britain has been pushing for a no-fly zone over the North African country.

France on Tuesday sent two planes carrying medical equipment and staff to eastern Libya, an area controlled by rebels.

Baroin says the priority is humanitarian aid for the thousands of people affected by the violence in the Libyan uprising and Mr. Gadhafi's brutal response.  He described the Libyan leader as unbalanced.

EU leaders have proposed an emergency summit on March 11 to discuss additional responses to the Libyan crisis. For now, the European Union has announced an arms embargo and visa ban against Tripoli.