Greens join call for Libyan no-fly zone
By Jeremy Thompson
Posted Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:04pm AEDT
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd's campaign for a no-fly zone over Libya has found support from an unusual quarter - the Greens.
The Greens are rarely supporters of armed interventions, opposing the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and then calling for a withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan.
But Greens MP Adam Bandt says the people of Libya need help now.
"The Libyan rebels are calling for it, the Arab League supports it, and the international community needs to get on with it," he said.
"A no-fly zone would enable the Libyan people to have a fighting chance of ending the Gaddafi dictatorship.
"There is a window of opportunity for freedom in Libya and throughout the Middle East. We need to grasp it with two hands."
He said recent media reports of differences between Mr Rudd and Prime Minister Julia Gillard's positions on the issue "should not be allowed to derail the Government's advocacy for the no-fly zone".
High-ranking US officials have warned that any attempt to impose a no-fly zone on Libya would first entail a bombing campaign to destroy the country's anti-aircraft defences.