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Security Council discusses Libya no-fly zone

By Whitney Hurst, CNN
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Libyan rebel needs include a no-fly zone
  • A no-fly zone is among many issues and options being discussed, officials say
  • Clear evidence of gross human rights violations could trigger action, one says
  • Some members want to hear what the Arab League and African Union are thinking

United Nations (CNN) -- A no-fly zone over Libya was discussed Tuesday by the U.N. Security Council but little action was agreed to, officials said.

The United Nations' under-secretary-general for political affairs, Lynn Pascoe, who briefed the Security Council after a trip to North Africa, told reporters, "There were lots of issues that were discussed this morning around this, and a no-fly zone was one of the issues."

Security Council diplomats said a draft text including language on a no-fly zone is just part of contingency planning being done on behalf of the council. No draft has been formally introduced.

One Security Council diplomat said that if there is a clear trigger -- for example gross, systematic human rights violations -- it could allow the council to act.

Rebel advances come to 'screeching halt'

France's U.N. ambassador, Gerard Araud, also said the council is studying all options, including a no-fly zone. Other members said they would want to see the Arab League and African Union positions before acting.

One Western diplomat said his country is cautious and needs more information and a clearer picture from regional countries before acting on such a measure.

The Chinese ambassador, Li Baodong, serving as Security Council president for the month, when asked about his country's position on a no-fly zone, would not comment. Russia and China are usually reluctant to endorse military intervention.

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