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18.03.2011 18:34
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Slovenia Welcomes UN Resolution on Libya (adds)

responses from president, PM, SDS

Ljubljana, 18 March (STA) - Slovenia welcomed on Friday the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution on Libya authorising a no-fly zone over the country and other forms of action against Libya.

The Foreign Ministry said in a press release that the resolution presented a "clear message to Colonel Gaddafi with the resolute request for immediate and complete cessation of violence and attacks against the civilian population and a ceasefire".

It "authorises the member states to cooperate in establishing a no-fly zone and implementing necessary measures to protect civilians", the ministry said, adding that this is a position advocated by Slovenia.

According to the ministry, Slovenia will actively participate as part of EU and NATO in the discussion on further steps in the implementation of the resolution, and will cooperate with other regional organisations.

The situation in Libya has deteriorated in the last two days, and there is a real danger of a humanitarian disaster and severe and massive violations of human rights, the release added.

The ministry also told the STA that Slovenia did not intend to participate in a potential military intervention in Libya for the time being, but would be active in the humanitarian field.

This echoes Wednesday's statement by FM Samuel Zbogar that Slovenia will not join any "coalition of the willing" in Libya outside a UN mandate and that the EU's priority is finding a peaceful solution to the crisis.

President Danilo Tuerk labelled the resolution an important step toward a solution, after saying three days ago that a solution must come from within Libya since intervening in a civil war was "a dangerous affair".

He said in a briefing with journalists that the resolution included not only a no-fly zone, but also allowed for military intervention to protect civilians in Libya.

Tuerk believes that the Foreign Ministry did the right thing by welcoming the resolution, adding that further steps in Libya would become clear as events unfold.

He said he believed that active participation of Slovenia's armed forces will not be necessary, but added that this might be requested of Slovenia, a member of NATO and the UN, in case of a military intervention.

Prime Minister Borut Pahor said the resolution was important for allowing for potential military intervention to stop the fighting in Libya. He said that Slovenia would allow planes to fly over its territory in case of a military intervention and would take part in humanitarian campaign.

Speaking after attending a committee session in parliament, the prime minister expressed hope that the recent ceasefire decision of the Libyan government was the first positive sign that peace might be restored in Libya.

The UN Security Council resolution was also welcomed by the coalition party Zares. "The decision was necessary to prevent the Srebrenica of North Africa, which is what Colonel Gaddafi has actually announced," Zares deputy group head Franco Juri said in a press statement.

"This is the first time the UN Security Council responded so promptly not only because of interests of one superpower, but because of the need to prevent a humanitarian disaster," Juri added.

The opposition Democrats (SDS), which have been criticising Slovenia's representatives for being reserved about the possibility of an intervention, also welcomed the resolution today, saying that the measures included in the document had been proposed by the SDS at the very beginning of the crisis.

18.03.2011 18:34

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