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Gingersnap
03-18-2011, 09:56 AM
Libya Declares Immediate Ceasefire After UN No-Fly Resolution

By Leon Mangasarian and Zainab Fattah - Mar 18, 2011 8:26 AM MT

Libya said it is ceasing all military action and will start talks with rebels, reacting the day after a United Nations vote allowed strikes against leader Muammar Qaddafi’s regime.

Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa made the announcement in a televised news conference carried by Al Arabiya TV today, adding that the UN resolution authorizing a no-fly zone violates the UN’s charter.

British and French leaders began preparing for possible air strikes against Libya after a UN Security Council vote cleared the way for the first Western military action against an Arab country since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“Let’s remain very careful on these kinds of announcements,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said in response to the cease-fire statement.

Crude oil retreated after the Libyan response to the UN vote, dropping more than $2 a barrel from the day’s highs. Crude oil for April delivery slipped 55 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $100.87 a barrel at 9:47 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Prime Minister David Cameron earlier said the U.K. would “in the coming hours” deploy Tornado and Typhoon warplanes, air-to-air refueling craft and surveillance aircraft to enforce the UN’s no-fly zone aimed at Qaddafi.

Leaders across the Middle East are struggling to suppress a renewed surge in unrest, as Arab nations backed the no-fly zone and countries including Qatar indicated they’d participate in the enforcement of the UN resolution.
Saudi Measures

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah ordered sweeping increases in government spending, including $67 billion on housing, to prevent protests in his kingdom from gathering pace. The move came three days after Saudi forces entered Bahrain to stifle demonstrations in the mostly Shiite country. In Yemen, security forces fired on protesters in Sana’a in the most violent crackdown yet during two months of political unrest.

Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-18/hague-suggests-u-k-forces-will-respond-to-libya-un-resolution.html)