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India, China, Russia oppose air strikes on Libya

Last updated: 20 March, 2011
New Delhi, March 20 (IANS)

India, China and Russia Sunday opposed the Western air strikes on Libya, with Moscow demanding a dialogue to end the ''bloodshed''.

The Indian foreign ministry said nothing should be done that aggravates the worsening situation for the people of Libya, where a revolt erupted in February against the four-decades rule of Muammar Gaddafi.

"India views with grave concern the continuing violence, strife and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya. It regrets the air strikes that are taking place," a ministry statement said.

It said the Indian government hoped that the air attacks would not lead to greater harm to innocent civilians, foreigners and diplomatic missions and their personnel still in Libya.
"As stated earlier by India, the measures adopted should mitigate and not exacerbate an already difficult situation for the people of Libya."

New Delhi urged all parties "to abjure use of or the threat of use of force and to resolve their differences through peaceful means and dialogue in which the UN and regional organisations should play their roles".

Russia and China echoed similar sentiments.
"Moscow notes with regret this armed action, taken in conjunction with the hastily passed UN Security Council resolution 1973," the Russian foreign ministry said Sunday.

Moscow called for an immediate end to the "bloodshed" in Libya to allow for dialogue.
India, China and Russia were among five countries that Thursday abstained from voting on the UN resolution which authorised the use of force and the creation of a no-fly zone in Libya.

The Chinese foreign ministry said Beijing "as always does not agree with the use of force in international relations".

Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said China believed that all countries should respect Libya's "sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity".

"We hope stability can be restored in Libya as soon as possible so as to avoid more civilian casualties caused by the escalation of military conflict," she said.

Gaddafi has vowed to defend his country against "colonial aggression" after the first air strikes against Libyan defences and the enforcement of the UN-sanctioned no-fly zone over Libya.

China Friday said it had "serious reservations" about a part of the UN Security Council resolution that authorized a no-fly zone over Libya.

Brazil and Germany also abstained from voting on the resolution. The US, France and Britain were among 10 countries that voted in favour.

French, British and American jets and ships are targeting key targets in Libya to prevent government forces from overrunning rebels who have vowed to topple Gaddafi.


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