Moscow hails UN Security Council plans to lift no-fly zone over Libya

Moscow hails UN Security Council’s intentions to discuss the issue of lifting a no-fly zone over Libya in the nearest future, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said.

His statement comes shortly after the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution to send a UN mission to Libya to assist the transitional authorities in restoring the order in the country.

“It is important that the resolution reflects Security Council’s intentions to cancel the no-fly zone over the territory of Libya,” Churkin said.

UN Security Council 1973 on Libya established a no-fly zone over Libya and led to NATO military intervention in the conflict.

He said the main aim of the no-fly zone was to provide protection for civilians.

“Unfortunately, the UN mandate for operations in Libya was exceeded and civilian facilities were also subjected to bombings, which resulted in deaths of civilians,” Churkin said.

Massive demonstrations against longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi broke out in Libya in mid-February. The international NATO-led military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution on “targeted measures” to protect civilians. The sanctions included a total arms embargo, travel bans and a freeze on accounts held by the country’s leadership.

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