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Arab League Nixes Foreign Intervention in Libya

Arab foreign ministers are slated to reject all forms of foreign intervention in Libya in a vote at the Arab League Council meeting in Cairo.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 3/2/2011, 1:39 PM / Last Update: 3/2/2011, 1:42 PM

The Arab League has rejected all forms of foreign intervention in Libya.

Based on a Syrian initiative, the Arab body planned to adopt the resolution Wednesday at its 135th Council meeting of foreign ministers.

The resolution is expected to pass despite last week's passionate plea by the Libya's deputy ambassador to the United Nations himself, Ibrahim Dabbashi, appealing to the world body to “stop the bloodshed” in his homeland.

The United States set up military bases in eastern Libya on Monday, joining Britain and France in anticipation of a “no-fly” order. American warships, planes and troops headed for Libya, with the USS Ponce and the USS Kearge already having passed through the Suez Canal Wednesday morning.

Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi has sent troops and civilian supporters to slaughter protesters calling for his ouster in demonstrations across the country. He also ordered the country's air force out on missions to indiscriminately bomb the demonstrators. At least 2,000 thousand have been killed.

The Syrian representative to the Arab League, Youssef Ahmad, told the SANA news agency Tuesday that Western intervention in Libya “does not stem from the principle of protecting the Libyan people and interests so much as it protects the interests and agendas of these Western forces.”

Wednesday's session of the Arab League Council in Cairo is being headed by Omani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Yousef bin Alawi, whose own government also faces political upheaval from protesters demanding reforms.

Omani security forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas at mobs of hundreds of protesters in the strategic Gulf nation last weekend. At least one person was killed during two days of demonstrations in Oman. It is the second Gulf nation to struggle with the political tensions affecting the Middle East and northern Africa.