Western intervention in Libya could boost terrorism

The Western-led military intervention in Libya may lead to escalation of international terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

The comment follows an apparent spat between Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev over the Kremlin’s stance on the airstrikes.

“If the situation gets out of hand, then we will have to deal with new manifestations of international terrorism, and many other developments, which we would like to avoid,” Lavrov told a news conference following talks with his Algerian counterpart Mourad Medelci.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Thursday imposing a no-fly zone over Libya and allowing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from leader Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns. Russia was one of five countries that abstained from the resolution.

Medvedev said on Monday he did not consider the resolution wrong, just hours after Putin likened it to both the U.S. invasion of Iraq and a “Medieval call for a crusade.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in Moscow on Tuesday the significant military fighting going on in Libya now “should recede in the next few days.” He also praised the Russian leadership for deciding to abstain rather than vote against the UN resolution.

Operation Odyssey Dawn entered its third night of airstrikes on Libyan air defenses on Monday. Libyan state television has reported that at least 60 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded.

ALGERIA, March 22 (RIA Novosti)


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