Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Libyan Update: The Libyan State No Longer Exists, Says Italy
The Italian Foreign Minister said in Geneva on Sunday that Italy was suspending a nonaggressive treaty with Libya on the grounds that the Libyan state “no longer exists.”
He was speaking following a meeting of foreign ministers of the most developed nations aimed at establishing a more robust response to the uprising in Libya, reported the New York Times. Suspending the treaty means that Italy could take military actions to stop Gadhafi from further attacking protesters who have taken a large part of the country.
This is happening as rebel leaders massing in cities around the capital took steps on Sunday to establish a unified command. The rebels have pushed back pro-Gadhafi forces that attempted to retake the city of Zawiyah. Following each battle, scores defecting soldiers raised their machine guns in the air and held up two fingers for victory, reported the Associated Press.
As the rebels increased their military strength, they prepare for a final push into Tripoli to free the capital city still in control of Gadhafi. The capital city has been on a lockdown as Gadhafi’s militia, secret police and paramilitary forces continue to terrorize the residents.
Following the Italian move to suspend its non-aggressive treaty with Libya, the French government said that two planes carrying humanitarian aid would arrive into opposition stronghold of Benghazi on Monday, reported Reuters. Prime Minister Francois Fillon announced the move in Paris. The plane he said would bring doctors, nurses, medicines and medical equipment to Benghazi. "It will be the beginning of a massive operation of humanitarian support for the populations of liberated territories," he said on RTL radio
The rebels are moving ahead with plans to tap revenue from oil, 80 percent of which is under their control, in support of their goal of ridding Libya of Col. Gadhafi.
Meanwhile, the United States Secretary of States, Hilary Rodham Clinton said Sunday in Geneva that the United States was also reaching out to the rebels to “offer any kind of assistance.”
In interviews with ABC News on Sunday, two of Colonel Qaddafi’s sons remained defiance. “The people — everybody wants more,” said Saadi el-Qaddafi. “There is no limit. You give this, then you get asked for that, you know?”
He predicted, “Chaos will be everywhere.” If his father left, he said, Libya would face a civil war “one hour later.”
Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi continued to challenge journalists to look for signs of unrest. “Please, take your cameras tomorrow morning, even tonight,” he said. “Everything is calm. Everything is peaceful.”