Arab League
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses the Jeddah Economic Forum on March 20, 2011 during the four days summit discussing key issues in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East that will allow sustained economic growth. — AFP

CAIRO: The Arab League on Sunday criticised Western military strikes on Libya, a week after urging the United Nations to slap a no-fly zone on the oil-rich North African state.

“What has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone and what we want is the protection of civilians and not bombing other civilians,” Arab League secretary general Amr Mussa told reporters.

On March 12, the Arab League urged the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone on Libya and said Muammar Qadhafi's regime had “lost legitimacy” as it sought to snuff out a rebellion designed to oust him from power.

In the West's biggest intervention in the Arab world since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, US warships and a British submarine fired more than 120 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Libya on Saturday, the US military said.

French warplanes also carried out strikes.

The UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973 on Thursday authorising military action to prevent Qadhafi's forces from attacking civilians.

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