Egypt Independent

Moussa recants criticism of military action in Libya

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said today that he respects the UN mandate for military action in Libya.

Moussa had criticized the air and marine strikes that were launched on Saturday by the a coalition of forces from the US, France and the UK against targets in the country. The strikes were preceded by a UN resolution to impose a no-fly zone aimed at undercutting Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi's bloody suppression of anti-government protests.

"What is happening in Libya is far from the goals of a no-fly zone. We are seeking to protect civilians, not to kill more of them," Moussa had said on Sunday.

But in a joint press conference with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Monday, Moussa said the Arab League has adopted a determined stance.

"We respect UN resolution 1973," he said, noting that the resolution did not order the invasion or occupation of Libya, but the protection of civilians.

Moussa also mentioned that the League froze Libya's membership before asking the UN for no-fly zone.

"We will continue working for civilians' protection, and we demand that this is taken into account during any military action," he said.