Rebel fighters hold only isolated pockets of oil town after forces loyal to Libyan leader attack by air, land and sea.
|GCC foreign ministers called for contacts to be made with the opposition movement [GALLO/GETTY]|
The Gulf Arab states have stressed that the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi is illegitimate and that contacts should be initiated with the transitional National Council in Libya.
In a statement issued after their meeting in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh on Thursday, foreign ministers from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) called on the Arab League to take measures to stop the bloodshed in Libya and to initiate contacts with the National Council formed by the opposition.
“When it comes to Libya I think the regime has lost its legitimacy,” Hamad bin Jasem bin Jaber Al Thani, the Qatari prime minister and foreign minister, said.
“We support the no-fly zone. We also support contact with the National Council in Libya. It is time to discuss the situation with them and the [UN] Security Council should shoulder its responsibility.”
The GCC denounced the crimes committed against civilians by using live bullets and heavy weapons and recruiting mercenaries, killing big number of innocent victims and constituting flagrant violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
They called on the Arab League to shoulder responsibility to take the necessary measures to defuse rifts, achieve the aspirations of the Libyan people and take the necessary measures to do that, including calling on the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians.
The six-nation alliance urged Arab League foreign ministers, who are due to meet in Cairo on Saturday, “to shoulder their responsibilities in taking necessary measures to stop the bloodshed”.