France First to Formally Recognize Libyan Opposition

March 10, 2011

Western officials have expressed concern that a no-fly zone over Libya would have a limited impact on stopping the violence. But NATO diplomats say there is strong support for such a move if the Libyan government escalates attacks on civilians.

European Union ministers are also meeting in Brussels to discuss Libya.  

The Libyan deputy foreign minister, Mohamed Tahir Siala, is in Athens Thursday discussing Libya’s crisis with his Greek counterpart, Dimitris Dollis, ahead of the EU meeting. The Greek foreign ministry says the meeting in Athens was approved by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Diplomats from Portugal have held similar talks with Libyan officials.

Britain and France are drafting a United Nations resolution authorizing a no-fly zone. Top advisers to U.S. President Barack Obama met Wednesday to assess the situation in Libya and consider remaining options, including the option of working with international partners to impose a no-fly zone.

Gadhafi has said Libyans would take up arms against Western nations if they imposed such a zone.

Also Thursday, Russia announced it will ban all weapons sales to Libya.

And Germany has ordered a freeze on all bank accounts held by the Libyan central bank and the Libyan Investment Authority.