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UN lifts no-fly zone over Libya

RIA Novosti

20:36 27/10/2011

NEW YORK, October 27 (RIA Novosti) - The UN Security Council on Thursday ended the no-fly zone over Libya.

All 15 UNSC members voted unanimously to lift the ban imposed on March 17 to protect civilians.

The draft resolution was co-sponsored by Russia and Britain.

“This resolution draws a line under the dramatic events of the past several months in Libya,” Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s envoy to the UN, said.

Russia criticized NATO's airstrikes in Libya, accusing the alliance of breaching UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 imposing sanctions on Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

The French and British envoys to the UN said there were technical impediments to ending the no-fly zone immediately, suggesting the Libyan authorities were not as yet ready to take control.

A Libyan interim leader, Ibrahim Dabbashi, earlier told the 15-nation council that Libya's people are "looking forward to terminating the no-fly zone over Libya as well as terminating the mandate accorded by Security Council resolution 1973 to protect civilians as soon as possible.”

A senior Russian lawmaker, Mikhail Margelov, welcomed the decision.

The move "signifies an end to the NATO military operation and simultaneously reinstates Libya's sovereignty in full," said Margelov, who heads the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament.

He added that the Security Council's decision would mean more responsibility for Libya's interim authorities, namely maintaining public order in the country and repelling possible attacks from Gaddafi loyalists.

"It's time for the world community to help Libya regain peace after the conflict in order to consolidate society and build a democratic state," Margelov added.

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