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 Libya no-fly zone needs broad support - William Hague

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PostSubject: Libya no-fly zone needs broad support - William Hague   Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:11 am

William Hague Any no-fly zone needed international and regional support, Mr Hague said
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A no-fly zone over Libya is a practical possibility but needs broad international and legal support, Foreign Secretary William Hague says.

As forces loyal to the Libyan leader Col Gaddafi launch more air strikes, Mr Hague said the UK and France were drafting a UN resolution on the issue as a "contingency".

Mr Hague faced criticism after a botched SAS mission in Libya last week.

But he pledged to continue to seek solutions for "momentous events".

Labour had accused the government of "serial bungling" over the attempt to make contact with those leading opposition to the rule of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Six soldiers and two others described as Foreign Office officials were detained for two days by rebels in eastern Libya but were freed on Sunday and left the country.

Addressing the criticism and questions from former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell over his enthusiasm for the job of foreign secretary, Mr Hague said: "These are historic times and momentous events are taking place.

"All of us who have taken on the job of shouldering responsibilities at this time must see those responsibilities through an extended period of time in the face of any criticism or setbacks.... that's how I feel about it."
'Other options'

Mr Hague said plans to impose no-fly zone over Libya to ensure Gaddafi's aircraft were kept grounded needed "clear legal basis, demonstrable need, strong international support, and broad support in the region and a readiness to participate in it".

He said: "What we call for is for Gaddafi to go, for people in Libya to be able to have the representative and broadly based government they want.

"But, of course, if that scenario changes, if it goes in other directions, well, then we have to look at other options as well, but I think we are not in that position yet."

The foreign secretary was speaking at a joint news conference with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the Foreign Office in London.

Mr Hague added that uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa must not be allowed to derail the Middle East peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
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