Medvedev warns Obama over civilian casualties in Libya (Update 1)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama on Thursday that preventing civilian deaths was an overriding priority for the international community in Libya.

The two leaders discussed the situation in the North African country on the phone, the Kremlin press service said.

“The Russian president emphasized the need to prevent deaths among civilians and said priority should be given to the goals set in UN Security Council Resolution 1973,” the press service said.

The two presidents also discussed Russia’s admission to the World Trade Organization and European missile defense.

The UN Security Council imposed a no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, allowing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns.

The operation to enforce the no-fly zone, codenamed Odyssey Dawn, is conducted jointly by 13 states, including the United States, Britain and France. Libyan state television has reported that at least 100 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded by the attacks.

Western warplanes have flown more than 300 sorties over the North African country and fired 162 Tomahawk missiles in the UN mission to protect Libyan civilians against government troops.

MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti)

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