Libya Won’t OK Foreign Troops for Aid Work

April 19th, 2011 at 11:28 am | No Comments |

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The Washington Post reports:

The Libyan government on Tuesday firmly rebuffed a proposal from the European Union, pharmacy saying it would fight any foreign troops that landed on its soil, healing even if they were supposedly there to escort humanitarian aid convoys.

The E.U. has outlined a provisional plan that could include European troops sent to the besieged Libyan city of Misurata to protect aid deliveries if requested by the United Nations, viagra although the U.N. says it wants to explore civilian options first.

Rebels and residents of Misurata, facing an increasingly desperate humanitarian situation and regular bombardment by government forces, have been appealing for more than a week for NATO to send in ground troops to protect humanitarian relief deliveries through the port.

They say more than 300 people have been confirmed dead in the city’s hospitals, while hundreds more are thought to have died throughout the city, which lies 131 miles east of Tripoli, since the siege began in late February.

The Libyan government said any deployment by NATO or the E.U. would just cause the conflict to escalate.

“If there is any deployment of any armed personnel on Libyan ground, there will be fighting,” Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim told a news conference in Tripoli. “The Libyan government will not take it as a humanitarian mission. It will be taken as a military mission.”

Kaim said he hoped it would not come to that and promised to cooperate with the United Nations to provide relief to civilians, and especially foreign migrant workers, trapped in the rebel-held part of the city. However, he repeatedly declined to answer questions about whether Libya would allow a pause in the shelling to allow humanitarian aid to enter Misurata, while also maintaining there was no shelling from government forces anyway.

In Brussels, officials said the 27 E.U. states had agreed they would be willing to launch a military mission to protect aid deliveries if the U.N. asked for it, Reuters reported.

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