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Chinese President Hu Jintao meets French President Sarkozy, saying force is no solution to Libyan issue

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) meets with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Beijing, capital of China, March 30, 2011. Sarkozy arrived in Beijing Wednesday afternoon to attend a seminar on the international monetary system. (Xinhua/Li Tao)

BEIJING, March 31 (KATAKAMI.COM) — History has repeatedly shown that the use of force is not an answer to problems, but only makes them more complicated, Chinese President Hu Jintao said in Beijing Wednesday in reference to the recent events in Libya, XINHUA reported.

“Dialogue and other peaceful means are the ultimate solutions to problems,” Hu said during a meeting with visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Libyan situation has captured international attention and China is greatly concerned about the situation, Hu said, adding that China believes that the UN Security Council’s resolution on Libya aims to quell violence and protect civilians.

“If military action brings disaster to civilians and causes a humanitarian crisis, then it runs counter to the purpose of the UN resolution,” Hu said.

“We have noticed that some countries and regional organizations have raised proposals and suggestions in solving the Libya crisis, which did not lack constructive ideas,” Hu said.

Hu said China believes it is in the interests of all concerned parties to positively respond to these proposals.

Stressing China’s support of political efforts to ease the tension in Libya, Hu said China has called on relevant parties to immediately cease fire, seek peaceful ways to solve problems and avoid more civilian casualties.

Hu said China believes that the independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity of a country should be respected and that China is against the use of force in international affairs.

Sarkozy said France also hopes to resolve the Libyan crisis through political and diplomatic means.

“As the meeting came on the heels of an international conference on Libya, President Hu took the opportunity of the meeting to elaborate China’s stance on the issue,” said He Wenping, a scholar with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Britain on Tuesday hosted a special international conference to discuss the situation in Libya and launch the political process for the country’s ongoing crisis. Over 40 foreign ministers and representatives from key regional organizations attended the conference.

He Wenping said Hu made clear China’s position to the international community and all the African countries.

“Without intervening in the issue, China appeals for political dialogue, and supports the negotiation made by such regional organizations as the African Union,” she said

Sarkozy arrived in Beijing Wednesday afternoon. He will attend a seminar on the international monetary system on March 31 in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province.

Sarkozy said France is willing to maintain contact with China in regard to reforming the international monetary system, and is looking forward to President Hu’s attendance at the G20 summit in Cannes later this year.

The two leaders also mentioned that this year is important for bilateral relations, and agreed to maintain forward momentum in the development of their relationship.

Hu made a state visit to France last year, during which the two sides issued a joint statement on strengthening their comprehensive strategic relationship.

During the meeting, Hu said China and France should expand cooperation in burgeoning industries such as new energy, recycling and nuclear safety while deepening cooperation in traditional fields such as trade and economics.

Hu added the two countries should enhance two-way investment and cultural exchange.

He said the two countries should work to enhance strategic mutual trust, while respecting and accommodating each other’s grave concerns.

Sarkozy said the French feel happy that China has become an indispensable force in recent years with its steadily developing economy and growing national strength.

He said France attaches great importance to promoting friendly cooperation with China.  (*)
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in World News

 

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'US operations in Libya cost $550mn'

A10 Thunderbolt, the American tankbuster aircraft

March 30, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) —The US military expenditures for ongoing airstrikes in Libya have topped $550 million amid warnings that a protracted conflict could emerge in the country, the Pentagon says, PRESS TV CHANNEL reported.

According to the US Defense Department, 60 percent of the funds were spent on munitions, mostly Raytheon Tomahawk missiles and bombs, with the rest going toward deploying troops and covering the costs of combat, including additional fuel needed for US aircraft and ships, AFP reported on Tuesday.

Between March 19 and March 28, the US military also fired at least 192 of the 199 Tomahawk cruise missiles, which cost $1.5 million apiece.

As the US-led military operations in Libya entered its eleventh consecutive day, the Pentagon’s latest figures indicate that the cost of the war may total $800 million by the end of September if the US continues operations.

Meanwhile, US Navy Commander Kathleen Kesler, a Pentagon spokeswoman stated on Tuesday that the Pentagon would spend another $40 million over the next three weeks as the 28-member NATO takes the helm of all military operations in Libya on Thursday.

“After that, if US forces stay at the levels currently planned and the operations continues, we would incur added costs of about $40 million per month,” she added.

According to US military officials, more than 350 aircraft are participating in the US-led campaign of military airstrikes against Libya “to protect civilians” from attacks by forces loyal to ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

Apart from the US, twelve EU countries are taking part in Operation Odyssey Dawn, which began on March 19.

Experts at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments say the Western countries participating in the military operations in Libya would have to pay $30 million to $100 million per week.

The Pentagon said on Tuesday that a coalition of countries conducting airstrikes against Gaddafi’s forces launched 22 Tomahawk missiles and flew 115 strike sorties in the last 24 hours.

The Libyan regime says that at least 114 people, mostly civilians, have been killed and 445 others injured in the campaign of US-led military airstrikes in Libya since March 20.

A new opinion poll by the Pew Research Center published on Monday shows that just under half of Americans — 47 percent — thinks it was the right decision to conduct military airstrikes in Libya. Another 36 percent say it was the wrong decision and 17 percent are unsure.  (*)
 
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Posted by on March 30, 2011 in World News

 

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Moscow urges coalition forces in Libya to stay within UN mandate

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

 

 

MOSCOW, March 29 (KATAKAMI.COM ) — Coalition forces involved in a military operation in Libya should act strictly within the UN mandate and answer directly to the Security Council, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, RIA NOVOSTI reported.

The Security Council adopted this resolution [1973] with the sole purpose of ensuring the protection of civilians,” he said. “So those countries that volunteered to implement this resolution should report to the UN Security Council, not some ad hoc structures.”

Lavrov has been critical of the Western-led military operation, claiming on Monday that it was at odds with a UN Security Council resolution passed on March 17 to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. Russia was one of five countries to abstain from the vote.

On Sunday, NATO began taking command from the United States of all aerial operations to ensure the no-fly zone and an arms embargo in Libya. The transfer of authority will take up to three days and should be completed by Wednesday.

Libyan television has reported that dozens of civilians have been killed and wounded in the strikes and that many health and education facilities have been destroyed. Coalition commanders deny this. (*)

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in World News

 

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Indonesia`s largest Islamic organization the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) condemns coalition`s attacks on Libya

Nahdlatul Ulama

 

 

Yogyakarta, March 29, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / ANTARA) – Indonesia`s largest Islamic organization the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) has condemned the United States-led coalition`s invasion on Libya and asked the country to be given a chance to solve its own problem, Antara News Agency reported.

“The Libyan people should have been given the chance to solve their own problem,” said the NU Central Board`s deputy secretary general, Abdul Munim D.Z., who read out the recommendation produced by a preliminary meeting of the organization in Krapyak, Yogyakarta, on Monday.

NU was of the opinion that the involvement of the United Nations should only be limited to keeping peace, whereas the fundamental rationality for solving the problem in Libya was to protect the people and sovereignty of Libya.

“With this argument, NU therefore strongly condemns the invasion on Libya by the US-led coalition,” said Munim who read the recommendation of the organization with more than 40 million Muslim followers in Indonesia.

NU also demanded that the Indonesian government play an active role in solving the problems of the Arab states, in particular Libya.

NU also called on the leaders of the Middle Eastern countries to ponder on the strong direction for a change by immediately finding the way out by applying power transition peacefully.

Speaking to the press, NU general chairman K.H. Said Aqil Siroj said that the NU had received information that hundreds of ulamas were currently approaching the opponents of President Muammar Qaddafi to ask them not to carry on their attacks following the involvement of foreign troops led by the US in Libya.

The rare plenum of the NU was attended by Indonesia`s most respected Muslim leaders including Cairman of the NU Advisory Council K.H. Sahal Mahfudh, Vice-General Chairman Asad Said Ali and Secretary General Marsudi Syuhud.(*)

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in World News

 

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Indonesia ready to send peace keeping force to Libya ; Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

Jakarta, March 29, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / ANTARA)– — Indonesia is ready to send its Peace Keeping Mission Force to Libya, an official said, Antara News Agency reported.
 

“If necessary, we are ready to send a Peace Keeping Mission Force,” Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said here at the Presidential Palace complex, Tuesday.

According to Purnomo, Indonesia would be ready to be involved into any peace keeping mission as it is one of the Southeast Asian countries that send most armed force for such mission.

The participation in keeping the world`s peace was also stated in the Constitution, Purnomo said.

However, Indonesia would send its peace keeping force to Libya if there is any commitment, either in the form of truce or negotiation, from the warring parties to bring peace to the country.

“Therefore, Indonesia would come to Libya not as a part of the coalition force,” he said.

However, Purnomo could not give the exact number of the peace keeping mission personnel as it was based on the extent of the conflict area.

Indonesian government had called on all parties involved in the Libyan crisis, including the multinational force, to settle the dispute in a peaceful way to prevent more death casualties.

Previously, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in his official statement, the Indonesian government asked the UN to take part and initiative and also involve the regional organization such as the African Union and Arab League to find the solution politically.

There were only two elements in the UN Resolution no. 1973 about Libyan conflict settlement. They are the No-Fly Zone implementation and the prevention for civilian casualty, the President said.

According to the President, the implicit messages from the Resolution 1973 that were concerned by the Indonesian government were the need of the cease-fire and the political solution or peaceful solution to end the conflict in Libya. (*)

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in World News

 

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Russian Foreign Minister : Western intervention into Libya not sanctioned by UN

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

MOSCOW, March 29 (KATAKAMI.COM / Xinhua) — The Western coalition interference in Libya is not sanctioned by the UN Security Council resolution, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday, XINHUA reported.

“We believe that coalition’s interference into the internal, civil war has not been sanctioned by the UN resolution. Protection of the civilian population remains our priority,” the Russian chief diplomat was quoted by the state-run Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

Lavrov said that NATO’s decision to take over the responsibility for military operation in Libya was in line with the UN resolution 1973. But at the same time, he stressed that the powers recorded in the resolution should be used for the unique purpose – to protect civilians.

Lavrov said it is necessary to make a decision on the immediate cease-fire in Libya and Russia has supported mediation offered by several African countries last week.

The UN resolution 1973 set a task to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to protect the civilian population.   (*)
 
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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in World News

 

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Pope calls for dialogue, not arms, in Libya

ope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, March 27, 2011. Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday urged diplomats to work for immediate dialogue aimed at suspending the use of arms by all sides in Libya. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

 

 

VATICAN, March 27, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Pope Benedict XVI has made his strongest statement to date on the conflict in Libya, calling for “an immediate dialogue” to halt the violence there, Deutsche Welle reported on Sunday.

Speaking at his Sunday blessing in St Peter’s Square, Benedict said he was appealing to “international organizations and those with political and military responsibilities” to start talks leading to a suspension in armed hostilities.

The pontiff said there was “an urgent need to rely on every diplomatic measure available” to bring about a reconciliation between the warring parties.

Nazi massacre site

On Sunday, the Pope also paid his respects at a site on Rome’s outskirts where the Nazis executed over 300 Italian men and boys during World War II in retaliation for a partisan attack in which 33 German soldiers were killed.

The 83-year-old pontiff knelt in prayer at the graves of the victims, before he and Rome’s Chief Rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni, each recited a psalm. Among those killed were some 76 Jews.

It was the first visit to the site as pope by the German-born Benedict. The location, known as the Ardeatine Caves, was also visited by his predecessors Paul VI and John Paul II.

In 1998, former SS Captain Erich Priebke was sentenced to life in prison by an Italian court for his role in the killings. The 97-year-old Priebke is currently under house arrest granted to him due to his age.  (*)

 

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2011 in World News

 

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