Gulf states underline support for Libya action
Monday 21 March 2011
The head of the Gulf's main political group said today that Qatar and the United Arab Emirates remain part of the coalition striking Libya, but stressed the mission seeks only to protect civilians.
The underlining of the Gulf states' backing for the multinational force follows criticism by the Arab League's chief over the heavy missile barrages by US and European forces against Libyan air defences, tanks and other targets.
"What is happening now is not an intervention. It is about protecting the people from bloodshed," said Abdul Rahman bin Hamad al-Attiyah, secretary general of the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council.
But he did not clarify the role of Qatar or the UAE in the Libyan operations or whether they have taken part in missions so far.
The statement came as US, British and French planes targeted Gaddafi's anti-aircraft sites for a second night and also destroyed a line of his tanks moving onto the rebel capital in eastern Libya.
Yesterday Arab League chief, Amr Moussa, raised questions about Arab participation in the coalition after saying the attacks go beyond the mandate to impose a no-fly zone to halt Libyan air raids on rebel strongholds. Libya has claimed dozens of civilians have been killed in the strikes by the US and European forces.
The UAE and Qatar also have joined Saudi-led forces in Bahrain to support the nation's embattled Sunni leadership after more than a month of anti-government protests led by the country's Shiite majority.
Mr Al-Attiyah said there was no timeline on the presence of the more than 1,500 Gulf troops in Bahrain - which has come under sharp criticism from Iran and its Shiite allies around the Middle East.
"The arrival of forces is not an act of repression," he claimed.
The GCC includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Ryan Gosling granted temporary restraining order against a woman 'convinced she was his twin flame'
Jennifer Lawrence sings in new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1 clip on YouTube
Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...