Forces Advance, UN Delays, “Not the End of the
World” - But Benghazi?
March 16 -- As in Libya the Gadhafi forces say they are
prepared to move on the rebel capital Benghazi, at the UN
Council in New York the Permanent Representative of the UK Mark
Grant told the Press that if there's not a vote on a no fly zone
until tomorrow, it's “not the end of the world.”
could it be the
end of Benghazi? “We don't think it will happen on that time
frame,” he said. He came out to add that Russia, perhaps not
surprisingly, had asked for a postponement of the scheduled
consultations on the no fly zone, from 11 am to noon.
asked, as it did Tuesday evening, if Lebanon had an answer from the
Arab League if its request is for a ban on all or only military
flights. A Western spokesman said his delegation has some answers,
but on that one would have to “ask Lebanon.”
But they have not
Gadhafi over Gillard & Rudd, Downer &
no fly zone not shown, h/t AdelaideNow
Gerard Araud seemed resigned to no vote on Wednesday, speaking
instead of “tomorrow night” or even “the end of the week.”
would any of
the other Permanent Five members dare veto such a resolution? Many
asked about the US position, without receiving answers. Watch this
* * *
Draft Paused on Whether All or Only Military Flights Would be
March 15, update -- Which flights would a No Fly Zone
over Libya actually
ban? All or only military flights?
at the UN
after Lebanon distributed a draft resolution that it said based based
on the Arab League's decision, German Permanent Representative Wittig
came out and told the Press that Germany questioned whether a no fly
zone would be inconsistent with the Arab League's opposition to
Security Council consultations ended, to be resumed on Wednesday,
Inner City Press at the stakeout asked Lebanon's Ambassador about
Germany's stated concern that a No Fly Zone could be foreign
said no, that
“the Libyan people” and the Arab League asked for it, and if the
UN Security Council authorized it, it could not be intervention.
the course of
further reporting, informed Council sources told Inner City Press
that issue in closed door consultations was that the Arab League, in
Arabic, referred to banning military flights, while the version
introduced at the UN in English would ban ALL flights. Lost in
translation? Watch this site.
Update of 5:20 pm --
French Ambassador Gerard Araud did not echo his foreign minister
Juppe's call to bomb Gadhafi's air fields in Libya, something that
Lebanon's Ambassador seemed to speak against at the stakeout, hoping
that approving a No Fly Zone would obviate the need to bomb. Hey:
Danish Foreign Affairs minister Lene Espersen has said Denmark
stands ready, with four jets and 90 staff....
Update of 5:44 pm:
India's Permanent Representative Hardeep Puri came out and told the
Press pointedly that the draft would ban ALL flights -- but as Inner
City Press first reported, is that what the Arab League has called for?
also said that India might not have the right kind of assets to enforce
a no fly zone.
Update of 5:59 pm --
when Chinese Permanent Representative Li Baodong, this month's Council
president, came to the stakeout, Inner City Press asked him to confirm
the closed door discussion of Arab League referring to military
flights, not the "all" in the draft resolution. "You're raised a good
question," he replies. So this is one of the issues Lebanon has
to check with the Arab League about overnight...
Update of 6:05 pm --
and now we have asked Lebanon's Mission to the UN, via their Twitter
account, to answer when they can. New era? We'll see.