Gadhafi vows to fight against 'no-flight zone'

Gadhafi vows to fight against 'no-flight zone'

 Gadhafi was speaking in an interview on Wednesday with Turkish public television as his forces unleashed airstrikes and artillery against rebels seeking his ouster.

The debate on a no-fly zone has become louder in world capitals. European countries such as Britain and France seem to favour the idea while United State Defence Secretary Robert M Gates has underscored the difficulties of imposing such a ban, as the West did over the north and south of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

UN resolution

Britain and France are working on a United Nations resolution to authorise a no-flight zone, although it was unclear whether such a measure could gain the necessary votes of Russia and China in the Security Council.

US President Obama and the British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed in a Tuesday phone call on the shared objective of “the departure of Gadhafi from power as quickly as possible,” the White House said in a statement, adding that they would “press forward with planning, including at Nato, on the full spectrum of possible responses, including surveillance, humanitarian assistance, enforcement of the arms embargo and a no-fly zone.”

On Wednesday, Egyptian officials said, Gadhafi sent an emissary to Cairo but the scope of the mission was not clear.

The officials, who spoke in return for anonymity under departmental rules, said a Libyan executive jet landed in the Egyptian capital on Wednesday carrying a senior military official — Maj Gen Abdel Rahman Ben Ali, identified as the deputy minister of Libya’s logistics and supply ministry. The plane, a private Falcon jet, had taken off from a small Libyan airfield and flown through Maltese and Greek airspace, news reports said.

Since Libya’s uprising began last month, Gadhafi has seemed isolated with few, if any, Arab leaders ready to speak to him, publicly at least. The officials said General Ben Ali was seeking a meeting with the military council running Egypt since last month’s ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

But Musa Ibrahim, a spokesman for Gadhafi, said there would be nothing unusual about the flight since Libya was in constant touch with its neighbours about the crisis in the region.