UPDATE 1-UN Security Council discusses Libya crisis

Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:38pm GMT
 

* Council expected to urge end to violence in Libya

* Libyan ambassador returns, still supports Gaddafi (Updates after morning consultations)

UNITED NATIONS Feb 22 (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council held closed-door discussions on Tuesday on the crisis in Libya, with Western envoys and Libya's own breakaway delegation calling for action by the 15-nation body.

After hastily arranged informal consultations, diplomats said the council would return to the issue later in the day to consider a statement expected to demand a halt to the violence in the North African oil-producing country.

The council met at the request of Libyan Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi, who along with most other staff at Libya's U.N. mission announced on Monday they were no longer working for leader Muammar Gaddafi and represented the country's people. They called for Gaddafi's overthrow.

In Libya, Gaddafi was using tanks, helicopters and warplanes to fight a growing revolt that erupted last week, witnesses said on Tuesday.

"The scale of violence by the Libyan security forces against peaceful demonstrators is really shocking," German Ambassador Peter Wittig told reporters. "We think it's a case for the Security Council, and the council should act with a swift and clear message."

Dabbashi told journalists, "We are expecting something to protect the Libyan people to come out of the council."

Diplomats were cautious on prospects for a request by Dabbashi, in a statement issued on Monday, for the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.   Continued...

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