Libya crisis/military action/political solution
LIBYA CRISIS/MILITARY ACTION/POLITICAL SOLUTION
Q. – You had lunch with Ban Ki-moon, you talked about Libya, as you said. One month on, the situation appears to be at a standstill. Some people are calling for a ground intervention, in various possible forms. Did you talk about this scenario with Ban Ki-moon? Did you talk about other scenarios to try and get things moving again?
THE PRIME MINISTER – I think things have to be very clear. There was a United Nations resolution which set a mandate, which we’re following to the letter and which rules out any ground intervention.
So there’ll be no ground intervention from the Coalition in Libya because this would be contrary to the United Nations resolution. The first objective of this United Nations resolution was to prevent Benghazi from falling into the hands of forces which remain loyal to Colonel Gaddafi. This objective has been achieved.
It has a second objective, which is to protect the civilians. It’s difficult, given the fierce fighting and particularly given the fierce bombardments several cities in Libya are being subjected to because of forces loyal to Mr Gaddafi.
So we’re going to step up our military effort through our air forces to prevent Mr Gaddafi’s forces from pursuing their action, which is action against civilians.
But at the same time, a political solution has to be found, i.e. the conditions for opening a dialogue so that the Libya crisis is resolved.
This crisis won’t be resolved through Coalition military action. This is why we’ve engaged a whole series of contacts, in the framework of the Contact Group which was set up, to ensure that all people of goodwill on both sides may find a forum in which to talk. And this is what I talked about to the United Nations Secretary-General, whose representative on the ground is to a very large extent helping establish these channels of discussion. (…)./.