News / Africa

Arab League Opposes Foreign Intervention in Libya

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, second left, and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, second right, head an Arab League foreign ministers meeting at Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, March 2, 2011
Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, second left, and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, second right, head an Arab League foreign ministers meeting at Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, March 2, 2011

Arab League diplomats say the organization would oppose any form of foreign intervention in Libya.

The diplomats commented Wednesday in Cairo, where the 22-member body is meeting to discuss unrest in the country.

World condemnation is mounting against the Libyan government and its attacks on civilians as a rebel protest widens. As the international community is gearing up relief efforts to areas in Libya held by anti-government forces, world powers are putting sanctions into place. And they are debating the possible enforcement of a no-fly zone against the Libyan military.

On Tuesday, the 192-member General Assembly voted by consensus to suspend Libya from the Human Rights Council for committing "gross and systematic violations of human rights" in suppressing an uprising against autocratic leader Moammar Gadhafi. The assembly also expressed "deep concern" about the human rights situation in Libya.

The United States praised the unprecedented move and said it serves as a warning to other nations who attack their own citizens.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the General Assembly decision showed that "governments who turn their guns on their own people have no place" in the 47-member rights body, which is based in Geneva.

Libya is the first nation to be suspended since the Council was formed in 2006. The resolution was co-sponsored by 72 nations, mainly Arab and African.

The action does not permanently remove Libya from the council, but prevents it from participating until the General Assembly determines whether to restore the country to full status.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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