China, Russia and India voice regret over Libya strikes
BEIJING / NEW DELHI - Agence France-Presse | 3/20/2011 12:00:00 AM |
China, Russia and India expressed regret Sunday over the air strikes on Libya after multinational forces began bombarding the North African country Saturday.
China, Russia and India expressed regret Sunday over the air strikes on Libya after multinational forces led by France and Britain began bombarding the North African country Saturday with missiles from air and sea.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it opposed the use of force in international relations and added: “China has noted the latest developments in Libya and expresses regret over the military attacks on Libya.”
Russia issued a similarly worded statement in which it called for a cease-fire as soon as possible. China’s statement made no mention of a cease-fire and stressed that China respected the North African country’s “sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity.”
“We hope Libya can restore stability as soon as possible and avoid further civilian casualties due to an escalation of armed conflict,” it added.
Also on Sunday, India expressed regret over the multinational air strikes on Libya, appealing in a foreign ministry statement for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
“India views with grave concern the continuing violence, strife and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya,” the statement said. “It regrets the air strikes that are taking place. The measures adopted should mitigate and not exacerbate an already difficult situation for the people of Libya.”
[HH] UN resolution
China and Russia were the most prominent voices in opposition to military action in Libya within the 15-member United Nations Security Council.
However, neither blocked the U.N. resolution authorizing an operation against Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi, abstaining in the Security Council vote on the issue rather than using their veto power.
France and Britain had led the demands for a no-fly zone, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy wrote to the heads of state or government of all the other council members seeking urgent backing for the measure.
China said earlier it abstained after having taken into account “the concerns and positions of Arab countries and the African Union, as well as the current special circumstances in Libya,” without elaborating further.
China, which faces frequent foreign criticism over its own human-rights record and treatment of restive minority groups, consistently opposes moves deemed as interfering in the affairs of other countries.
“China has always opposed the use of force in international relations,” Sunday’s statement said, adding that Beijing supported the spirit and principles of the U.N. Charter, without elaborating.