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U.N. remains divided on Libya no-fly zone

By Richard Roth and Joe Vaccarello, CNN
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Libyan rebels ask: Where is no-fly zone?
  • India's ambassador: "Who will implement the no-fly zone?"
  • China's ambassador is concerned about deteriorating conditions in Libya
  • The United States declines to take a public position

United Nations (CNN) -- The U.N. Security Council is considering a new draft resolution that includes a no-fly zone over Libya and additional economic and political sanctions.

But council nations remain divided on the no-fly zone proposal.

Germany's U.N. ambassador said his country has questions about such a zone. India's U.N. ambassador asked, "Who will implement the no-fly zone? Who would provide assets for it?"

China's U.N. ambassador said his country is concerned about deteriorating conditions in Libya but didn't say whether Beijing backs a no-fly measure.

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The United States declined to take a public position. A council diplomat said the U.S. is engaged in negotiations on the text.

The resolution is in two main parts. The no-fly zone section says the council "decides to authorize a ban on all flights in the airspace of Libya in order to help protect civilians." It authorizes member states to "take all necessary measures to enforce compliance." Another element refers to helping in the delivery of humanitarian food and supplies.

There is far more support in the council for the sanctions part, rather than the no-fly-zone.

The Arab League recommendation of a no-fly zone carries some weight with reluctant council nations. But the Arab League declaration that there should be "no foreign intervention" has perplexed delegates.

That's why Lebanon, the lone Arab member of the Security Council, has been asked to get clarification on this stance from the Arab League.

Lebanon's U.N. ambassador said Libyan diplomats at the United Nations will be asked for information on places and safe passages that can be protected by a no -ly zone in an effort to help answer some nations' questions on the zone.

Lebanese Ambassador Nawaf Salam told reporters his country is in favor of a no-fly zone that would have a deterrent effect on Libyan government forces..

Asked about French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe's remarks that events on the ground may made a no-fly-zone irrelevant, Lebanon's U.N. ambassador declared "nothing is too late but may not be enough."

Security Council consultations resume at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

France's U.N. ambassador, Gerard Araud, said he doubts a vote will occur Wednesday because the resolution has a long and technical text.

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