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UK Reminded of West's 'Chequered History' in Arab World

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TEHRAN, March 11 (ICANA) – The parliamentary-led Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) on Friday reminded the UK about its “chequered history” of past military interventions in the Arab world.
Friday, March 11, 2011 8:17:12 PM
UK Reminded of West's 'Chequered History' in Arab World

Caabu, which has more than 90 MPs and peers as members, said that action was needed in Libya to prevent massacres but that it “must be Libyan-led with regional backing.”

“Any actions must be on Libyan invitation and driven solely by Libyan and humanitarian interests. There also needs to be a clear regional backing for any intervention,” it said in a statement obtained by IRNA.

The statement from the all-party council also said that other options must be investigated including further sanctions, isolation of the regime and support to the Libyan opposition.

Caution about Arab attitudes towards military intervention in Libya was expressed by Caabu director Chris Doyle, who said that although there was support in the region, it is “very limited.”

“It is quite clear that they do not want to see military action on the ground, but very limited, specific action to prevent Gaddafi bombing Libyans would probably have enough support regionally because of all the massacres,” Doyle said.

“The trouble is that the West has a chequered history. We have not had many successful interventions in the region,” he further warned.

“Everyone remembers Iraq; everyone remembers the 1986 bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi. They look at Britain and the United States in particular and they think oil, they think military, they think vested interests.”

“They are not thinking that we are behind the Libyan people and that ultimately is our problem,” Doyle said.

The warning came as EU leaders attending an emergency summit in Brussels were divided with French President Nicolas Sarkozy leading calls for 'targeted' air strikes but EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton saying a no-fly zone could risk civilian lives.

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