Russia proposes draft UN resolution to lift Libya no-fly zone

Russia introduced on Friday a draft UN resolution calling for an end to the no-fly zone over Libya, Russia’s UN envoy to Vitaly Churkin said.

“It was the UN Security Council’s decision to declare a no-fly zone over Libya, that’s why a decision to lift the no-fly zone should also be made by the Security Council,” Churkin told journalists in Brussels.

“We will certainly work on this issue in close coordination with the Libyan authorities,” he added.

On Friday, Churkin expressed hope that the resolution drafted by Russia would be passed “in the next few days.”

The UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973 introducing a no-fly zone over Libya in March, a month after an uprising against Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s authoritarian rule broke out in the North African country. The resolution authorized “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians from attacks by pro-Gaddafi troops.

Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya for 42 years, was captured by National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters near his home town of Sirte on Thursday, seven months after an international Western-led alliance launched a military operation in Libya on March 19.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Friday the alliance had agreed to wind down its mission in Libya until October 31. The formal decision is expected to be announced next week.

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