Minister for Defence Stephen Smith Denies Dispute Between Gillard & Rudd Over No-Fly Zone in Libya
Australia (News4us.com) March 10, 2011
During an early morning interview with Fran Kelly, host of ABC Radio National’s agenda-setting breakfast program, the Defence Minister made no qualms of clarifying the united position within his government’s most senior officials on the Libyan no- fly zone.
On being questioned whether Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd were at odds over the no-fly zone in Libya. Mr Smith made it clear that both ministers in question along with him were in full agreement that the UN Security Council should consider a no-fly zone over Libya.
While NATO Defence Ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss the situation in Libya and the ongoing operation in Afghanistan. The Australian position in his view was and still is very clear.
He went on to further state that the weight of international law through a Security Council resolution is of extreme importance and the first step in exacting such a strong measure.
“Australia has supported NATO’s preparative measures, in particular, to put itself in the position of being able to effect a no-fly zone if there is the authority of international laws” he said.
When questioned on what the Prime Minister had said during an overnight interview, where she failed to mention Australia’s support for a no-fly zone.
The Defence Minister stated that the phrase quoted did include a no-fly zone and pointed out last week in parliament when the Prime Minister stood up and called on the Security Council to consider a no-fly zone. Australia had to keep the pressure on to see a successful security resolution passed to help protect the people of Libya.
“I’m focusing on the substance of the position here, not any angle that might be of interest to journalists overnight” he said.
The Defence Minister went on to say that a key component in any resolution would be the appropriate regional support from Arab, African and Muslim nations.
The more regional support given by Libya’s close and influential neighbours, the less likely the Security Council will be subject to a veto from either china or Russia. Both countries have a history of proceeding slowly when intervening in the internal affairs of a nation state.
Short URL: http://www.news4us.com/?p=8074