India undecided on no-fly zone over Libya, consulting others

"We have to take into account what Egypt feels, what Egyptian neighbours feel. What does the Arab League have to say about it, what does the African Union have to say about it,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told NDTV in an interview when asked about a move by some Western countries proposing a no-fly zone over Libya to end the civil war in the violence-torn north African nation. 

"And then we have the BRIC countries - the Brazil, Russia, India, China group. You know all of us are consulting with each other about the developing situation. So we will take a decision rather based on this, it won't be in isolation, that's one point,” said Rao.

"There are over one lakh Egyptians there. When you have a no-fly zone I suppose of course it would involve taking out all the air attack defences, it will involve bombings, it will involve a certain preparation after which a no-fly zone will be imposed. And that would again lead to a rapid escalation of violence,” Rao said, indicating New Delhi's reservations over the no-fly zone proposal.

Rao also denied any US pressure over the no-fly zone issue.

India has yet to decide on whether to abstain or vote against such a resolution in case the issue comes up before the United Nations Security Council.

When asked about Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi raising the issue about atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir and comparing it to the situation in Libya, Rao said India had “very strong objections and reservations to Kashmir being referred to in that sort of context”.

"I think the story is very, very different. And the world recognises that and the world understands, you know, the way we have handled the issue. Openness and transparency,” she said.

"The world sees that, but I don't think the world sees that as an issue, in the same bracket as let's say what is happening in Libya,” Rao added.

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