UAE urges U.N. action to protect Libyans

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 18, 2011 4:36 PM
UAE urges U.N. action to protect Libyans

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates called Monday for the U.N. Security Council to act to protect the Libyan people, as fighting continued between rebels and forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"We appeal to the international community, especially the (U.N.) Security Council, to meet their historical responsibilities to protect this dear people," UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan told a meeting of Gulf Arab foreign ministers in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE and Turkey said Friday they would work together to send humanitarian aid to Libya, where hundreds of people have been killed in the uprising against Gaddafi.

Abdulrahman al-Attiyah, secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council -- which groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE -- said the killing of Libyans was a crime against humanity.

"Massacres committed by the regime against their own citizens are crime against humanity that require condemnation, especially the regime's use of mercenary and heavy weapons," Atiya told the GCC foreign ministers' meeting.

"The protection and safeguarding of the Libyan people citizens is an absolute priority at this critical stage."

But Atiya warned against foreign intervention.

"Rejecting all kinds of foreign intervention in Libya and asserting the full commitment toward maintaining the national unity of the Libyan people and the sovereignty, unity and safety of its lands (is a priority)," he said.

(Reporting by Mahmoud Habboush; editing by Andrew Roche)