Belgium Does Not Want To Arm Libyan Rebels

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Foreign minister, Steven Vanackere, said he was opposed and that arms were not covered by UN Security Council Resolution 1973. “The UN resolution speaks about protecting civilians, not arming them.”

Vanackere was supported by Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister, said: “We will not see a military solution”

“Germany is ready to support humanitarian action for the people of Libya,” he added.

Italy earlier urged the international community to consider arming Libyan rebels under the UN resolution  authorising the “use of all means” to defend civilians. Britain has also said that humanitarian aid should be given to the rebels and that Gaddafi should be asked to leave peacefully.

“The discussion about arming the rebels is definitely on the table … to defend themselves,” said Italy’s foreign minister Maurizio Massari said at the meeting an international contact group on the Libya conflict.

“The UN resolution … does not forbid arming”, he added. “We need to provide the rebels all possible defensive means,” he said, singling out communication and intelligence equipment.

At a NATO meeting also in Doha its chief Anders Fogh Rassmussen agreed that a political settlement was the only solution.

“We hope this meeting can facilitate a political solution for the problem in Libya, and obviously there is no military solution so we have to initiate a political process,” he said.