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UK MPs to Vote on Libya No-Fly Zone on Monday

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TEHRAN, March 18 (ICANA) – London, March 18, IRNA – MPs will vote on a substantive motion in parliament on Britain's participation in imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, Prime Minister David Cameron announced Friday, but added that preparation for military action has already begun.
Friday, March 18, 2011 6:57:15 PM
UK MPs to Vote on Libya No-Fly Zone on Monday

Cameron told parliament that the time scale of the UN resolution to back 'all necessary measures' to protect Libya civilians first demands a ceasefire and that “if it does not happen, consequences will follow.”

Despite Monday's vote by MPs, he said that preparations were already underway for Britain to deploy Tornado and Typhoon fighter jets in a joint operation, which is also being led by France and the US.

'Preparations to deploy these aircraft have already started and in the coming hours they will move to airbases from where they can start to take the necessary action,' he said.

Speaking on the 8th anniversary of parliament approving Britain joining the US in invading Iraq, Cameron insisted the UN resolution was 'very clear' in its aims to bring hostilities in Libya to an end and to protect civilians from what he said was a possible 'bloodbath'.

He avoided to answer directly whether Thursday's UN resolution effectively endorsed regime change, but said he continued to believe Libya had no future with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and that this was widely shared by the UK's allies.

Speaking earlier Friday, former UK ambassador to the UN at the start of the Iraq war said that the new resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya had to be aimed to end the Gaddafi regime.

'It's not the point to have no Libyan aircraft flying, the point is to stop Libyan tanks, Libyan artillery, and Libyan troops murdering their own people and that's going to be quite difficult still from the sky,' Sir Jeremy Greenstock warned.

'Success is the end of this regime. Otherwise we are up there flying for a very long time if they are still in Tripoli and he [Gaddafi] will come back if we go away,” Greenstock said.

During his statement, the British prime minister received widespread support for leading the campaign to impose a no fly zone, including from opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband.

But veteran Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn asked why action was being taken to protect human rights in Libya while no action was being taken in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

His colleague Natascha Engel also asked whether air strikes would compound a difficult situation, while another veteran Labour MP David Winnick warned that Britain could be dragged into a third war in ten years.

Amid reports that France could carry out attacks on Libya within hours, Cameron also announced that he is due to attend a meeting in Paris with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and leaders of Arab countries.

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