A no-fly Zone over Libya is a possible option, even if the action isn’t backed by a UN resolution Foreign Minister William Hague said yesterday.
“There have been occasions in the past when such a no-fly zone has had clear, legal, international justification even without a Security Council resolution,” he said.
“It depends on the situation on the ground,” the Foreign Minister continued.
Mr Hague did, however, acknowledge that imposing a no-fly zone on Libya without a UN resolution would make things more complicated and that the Cabinet would need to take “full legal advice” before any such actions would be carried out.
“You would certainly need a very strong degree of international support,” he said.
But while Hague made it clear that the UK could go against the will of the UN Security Council, Prime Minister David Cameron tried to tone down his earlier statement, which he made on Monday when he first publicly suggested a no-fly zone.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said yesterday: “Clearly there are certain sets of circumstances where a no-fly zone may be appropriate, but we are not at that stage.”
Cameron also tried to play down speculations over the possibility of providing anti-Gaddafi opposition with arms during a press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in London yesterday.
“We are trying to step up our contact with them so we can get to know them better and know what their intentions are,” Cameron said.
“I don’t think we should go beyond that for now. Clearly we hope that this will come to an end more quickly, but I think our job is to try to look around the corner and plan for every eventuality.”