Western and Arab leaders Wednesday agreed to provide ragtag Libyan rebels with “material support” and funds, possibly from Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s frozen foreign bank accounts, as they escalated international pressure on the Libyan dictator to relinquish power.
They did not specify the type of material support they planned to offer, but several officials meeting in the Gulf nation of Qatar said some countries individually are considering arming the rebels.
Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told reporters that aid could include “all the other needs, including defense equipment.”
“It is time to help the Libyan people defend themselves and to defend the Libyan people,” he said.
Italy, Libya’s former colonial power, argued strongly in favor of supplying arms. Italy also has given diplomatic recognition to the rebel's transitional council in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.
Italy will host the next meeting of the Contact Group of 16 Western and Arab countries with representatives from the United Nations and Arab League. The African Union sent observers to the talks in the Qatari capital, Doha. The group was formed at a meeting in London two weeks ago.
“The discussion of arms is certainly on the table,” he said. “We are not talking about offensive arms. … Every country will decide. It is a political decision.”
Weeks of airstrikes have failed to dislodge the Gadhafi regime.View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
We all eat, and food should be fun and healthful. Food Commune celebrates the food we eat, the people we eat with and the spirits we enjoy.
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
Reflections on raising families in a holistic way -- with a focus on nutrition and alternative health.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall