Monday, April 25, 2011

Russian FM calls for ceasefire in Libya

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Source: Press TV

Russia's foreign minister has called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya amid the worsening humanitarian situation in the North African country.

In a telephone conversation with Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi on Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged implementation of UN Security Council resolutions in Libya, Xinhua reported on Sunday.

"It is necessary to unconditionally comply with the relevant resolutions made by the UN Security Council and ensure an immediate ceasefire," the Russian Foreign Ministry quoted Lavrov as saying.

The Libyan premier responded that Libyan officials would like to find a political solution to the conflict, adding that Tripoli is ready to fully observe UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.

The two officials made the remarks on the same day that forces loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi unleashed a barrage of shells and rockets at the besieged western city of Misratah, killing dozens of people and injuring several others.

The humanitarian situation in Libya's third-largest city with a population of more than half a million has significantly deteriorated amid shortages of food, water and medical supplies as the result of a seven-week siege.

On March 17, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973, authorizing NATO forces to pound positions belonging to Libyan regime "to save civilians from attacks by Gaddafi loyalists."

This is while NATO air attacks have killed many civilians in the eastern opposition-held areas of the oil-rich country, contradicting its main pledge of protecting people.

Resolution 1970 was also adopted on February 26 by the Security Council, which called for the freezing of Gaddafi's money overseas, as wells as travel bans for him and his family. It also called for a full-scale arms and trade embargo.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Lavrov said Russia is ready to cooperate with international organizations, including the African Union and the United Nations, to mitigate the humanitarian impact of the crisis and promote a peace settlement in Libya.

Lavrov on Thursday warned of "unpredictable consequences" as the "extremely risky" military operations by NATO forces and their allies show no sign of abating in the country.

"We are not happy about the latest events in Libya, which are pulling the international community into a conflict on the ground. This may have unpredictable consequences," Lavrov noted.

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