CAIRO (Reuters) - Qatar will participate in military action over Libya with the aim of ending bloodshed there, Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told Doha-based Al Jazeera television channel.
The Arab League had called for a no-fly zone over Libya a week before Western powers backed a U.N. Security Council resolution that authorised such a zone and “all necessary means” -- code for military action -- to protect civilians.
“Qatar will participate in military action because we believe there must be Arab states undertaking this action, because the situation there is intolerable,” he told Al Jazeera television channel.
But the channels said he did not specify what Qatar’s precise role would be.
When the resolution was passed, U.N. diplomats had said they understood the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan were among Arab League members prepared to take part in enforcing the no-fly zone.
“The cause of killing is not a protest ... it has become an open war involving mercenaries. I think that this is an issue that must stop very quickly,” the prime minister said.
“We do not accept any harm coming to the Libyan people. We are not targeting the Libyan people, or targeting even the colonel (Gaddafi) or his sons, quite the opposite,” he said.
“How can we stop the bloodshed, this is our intention,” he said.