Anti-Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi rebels, stand on their vehicle shout slogans against Gadhafi at a desert road between Agela and Ras Lanouf towns, eastern Libya, on Saturday March 12, 2011. An emergency European Union summit on Libya brought a no-fly zone no closer, but leaders embraced a new Libyan opposition group as a viable partner after cutting all contact with strongman Moammar Gadhafi. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla) (AP)

Arab League asks for no-fly zone over Libya

League approval gives U.S., other Western nations crucial backing in bid to curb Gadhafi violence against Libyans


Diaa Hadid
March 12, 2011 10:42PM (UTC)

The Arab League has asked the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.

The 22-member organization, which held a foreign ministers' meeting Saturday in Cairo, can't impose a no-fly zone itself. But its approval gives the U.S. and other Western powers crucial regional backing they say they need before doing so.

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Rebels seeking to oust Moammar Gadhafi say they need a no-fly zone to protect them from airstrikes.

The Obama administration has said a no-fly zone may have limited impact, and the international community is divided over the issue.

In a statement released after a closed session, the Arab League said it was asking "the United Nations to carry out its responsibility to impose a no-fly zone over Libya."

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

CAIRO (AP) -- Two diplomats say the Arab League has agreed to ask the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.

The 22-member organization, which held a foreign ministers' meeting Saturday in Cairo, can't impose a no-fly zone itself. But its approval would give the U.S. and other Western powers crucial regional backing they say they need before doing so.

Advertisement:

Rebels seeking to oust Moammar Gadhafi say they need a no-fly zone to protect them from airstrikes.

The Obama administration has said a no-fly zone may have limited impact, and the international community is divided over the issue.

The Arab diplomats say ministers agreed to the move during a closed session. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the final statement was still being drafted.

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Diaa Hadid

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