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UN to take charge of law and order in Libya

Published time: September 15, 2011 07:48
Edited time: September 15, 2011 13:51

UN peacekeepers patrol in a street of Abidjan, Ivory Coast (AFP Photo / Issouf Sanogo)

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A failure to properly implement UN resolution 1973 aimed at protecting civilians in Libya crystallized into a full-scale civil war and foreign invasion, argues Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin. He says only the UN can break the stalemate.

­The Russian envoy revealed that the “UN Security Council is currently working on a resolution that would enable the organization to issue a UN mandate for Libya and in that mandate there will be steps taken to make sure that a law and order system is going to be created in Libya which will prevent from happening those horrible thing allegedly underway in Libya.”

The tragic and dangerous situation in Syria increasingly resembles the Libya scenario, the ambassador believes. Russia has consistently opposed sanctions against Syria’s leadership, preferring to give it time to fulfill promised reforms, and calling on both sides to sit down at the negotiating table.

Russia will neither join the sanctions already imposed on Syria bypassing the decisions of the UN Security Council, nor will it heed Western reassurances that the latter has no plans to use military force against Syria – because exactly the same was promised ahead of UN resolution 1973 on Libya that led to a full-scale military intervention against the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

“In order not to plunge the country [Syria] into major bloodshed, dialogue [between Damascus and the opposition] must happen,” said Churkin.

Speaking about the new conflict between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo, Churkin revealed that the Kosovo Albanian authority in Pristina has announced plans to take over Serb-populated Northern Kosovo by force while the NATO force in the region – KFOR – and EU representatives deployed there to restore peace seem to be going along with what appears to be a very dangerous plan on the part of the Albanian authorities.

Serbia has called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the issue and Russia fully supports the initiative, so “this will be a reality check for the UN Security Council.”

The same double standards appear when it comes to discussions over Israeli settlements, Churkin believes. The US supports its Middle East ally and always vetoes any Security Council resolutions against Israel so the American role as the leading mediator of the Middle East peace process has proven to be counterproductive, as such a partisan position does not really help to move matters ahead.

“It is going to be one of the interesting challenges for the UN General Assembly and the Security Council if the Palestinians decide to bring [their independence] matters to one of those main bodies of the UN or both,” predicts Churkin, saying that negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians must start one way or another.

In the opinion of the Russian ambassador, “pressures of various sorts are going to grow in Israel, especially now that we cannot be sure about where the situation in the Arab world is going,” he said, adding that “a positive scenario is not assured at all.”

So far, both the Israeli and Palestinian sides in the conflict “have been beating about the bush,” making requests knowingly unacceptable to the other side.

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