Turkey's President Abdullah Gul
Turkish President Abdullah Gul says the goal of NATO-led invasion of Libya is not “liberation of Libyan people,” warning against pursuing any hidden agenda.
Voicing his strong skepticism towards the military operation enforcing UN-mandate no-fly zone over Libya, Gul pointed out that "Those who have supported these regimes for long years are now suddenly changing roles."
"The aim (of coalition forces) is not the liberation of Libyan people. There are hidden agendas and differing interests. We should light the fire, the rest will follow is a wrong mentality, and unfortunately I suspect the presence of such a mentality (on the side of coalition forces),” he said in a three-day tour to Africa.
“I worry that the things that happened in Iraq may repeat itself in Libya. Iraq was looted; now I am afraid that the same will happen in Libya" the Turkish president noted.
Turkey "neither wants the division of Libya, nor bloodshed, nor the continuation of the current administration (in Tripoli)," he further explained.
Pointing to the lack of honesty on the side of the West, the Turkish president said, "Honesty is needed more than ever in the case of Libya."
"We are honest. We don't want Libyan people suffer. Yet, it is the Libyan people who will make possible a revolution, not the outsiders. Therefore, if Mr. Gaddafi really wants the good of his country, if he really cares about his country, he must leave, immediately."
On March 17, the UN Security Council passed a resolution, co-sponsored by France, Britain, Lebanon and the United States, endorsing a no-fly zone over Libya and military strikes on forces loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi to guard civilians.
Speculations are rife about the real motive behind the war in the oil-rich country, with many analysts saying that under the guise of protecting civilians, as enshrined in the Resolution 1973, which permitted the use of force against the Libyan regime, Washington and its Western allies are basically after the North African country's vast oil reserves.
Many civilians have already been killed in Libya since the US, Britain, France and some other Western countries initiated their attacks on the North African country.
According to US Navy Vice Admiral William Gortney, more than 350 aircraft are participating in the US-led airstrikes against crisis-hit Libya.
Despite the US saying that it seeks to stop the Libyan regime's forces from attacking civilians, coalition military operations in Libya have received negative responses from different countries with some experts believing that the raids go beyond the UN mandate and must stop.