India opposes no-fly zone, use of force in Libya


NEW DELHI – India is opposed to a no-fly zone or the use of force in Libya, and other major developing nations have “reservations”, a top Indian foreign ministry official said in remarks published on Friday. “As of now we are not in favour of a no-fly zone. We are opposed to use of force,” foreign secretary Nirupama Rao told The Hindu newspaper. “Among BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries, questions have been raised and reservations expressed,” she said. India is a temporary member of the UN Security Council, but has ambitions to become a permanent member with a veto alongside Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
Libya has been rocked by the revolt against Moamer Gaddafi’s four-decade rule which erupted on February 17. Gaddafi is fighting a bloody rearguard action against rebels and the turmoil has sparked a mass exodus of more than 100,000 people from the oil-rich nation.On Thursday, US President Barack Obama said he was examining the “full range” of military options, including a no-fly zone, if the revolt in Libya turns into a bloody stalemate and humanitarian disaster. The US Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a symbolic resolution urging the world to consider imposing a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent Gaddafi from launching air strikes against his people. India has condemned the violence in Libya and has launched an evacuation of its estimated 18,000 citizens there.
Less than half, around 7,200, have been rescued, leading to criticism from some commentators about a slow effort compared with fellow Asian powerhouse China. China says it has evacuated nearly 36,000 nationals, as well as more than 2,000 people from other countries. “There is this unfortunate comparison game with China,” Rao said.