Expansion of UN Libya blacklist delayed-diplomats

Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:13pm GMT

* China, Russia, India demand more time on Libya sanctions

* Unclear when UN sanctions panel can expand blacklist

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS, April 14 (Reuters) - U.N. Security Council plans to expand a list of Libyan individuals and firms subject to U.N. sanctions have hit a snag due to Russian, Chinese and Indian demands for more time, diplomats said on Thursday.

Diplomats said the resistance of the three countries was worrying, since they have become increasingly critical of the U.N.-approved no-fly zone and air strikes officially intended to protect civilians in Libya but which critics say are aimed at supporting rebels seeking to overthrow the government.

"We'd rather not see a big split in the international community on Libya at this crucial time," a Western diplomat told Reuters. "Let's hope they come around and join the consensus (on expanding the sanctions). The point is to reduce the ability of the Gaddafi regime to attack its own people."

The 15-nation council has imposed two rounds of asset freezes and travel bans on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, his family and inner circle, as well as key firms controlled by them, such as the central bank and Libyan National Oil Corp.

The first Libya sanctions resolution was adopted unanimously on Feb. 26. But Russia, China and India were among the five states that abstained during the vote on the second resolution, which passed 10-0 on March 17.

Germany and Brazil also abstained on that resolution, which blacklisted more individuals and firms and authorized the use of "all necessary measures" -- code for military force -- to protect civilians.   Continued...

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