The word on the Libyan crisis now passes to the UN Security Council. Meeting for two days in Paris, the G8 foreign ministers (Italy, France, US, Russia, Germany, UK, Canada and Japan) launched an appeal for the UN Security Council to “increase pressure” on Libya, also using “economic measures” in such a way as to force Colonel Gaddafi out of power. The meeting’s conclusions made no reference to a no-fly zone.
"We know that there is a counter offensive" being mounted by the Gaddafi regime – said Frattini at the end of the ministerial meeting – and "that’s why the primary issue is a ceasefire". “Italy”, Frattini underscored, “is willing to support anything that leads to a ceasefire” as long as it “takes place in a multilateral framework”. “An action”, he went on, “consisting of coordinated measures, among them obviously the no-fly zone, but not only that; the idea of an external naval patrol, a buffer zone for the civilian population, measures that have been applied in the past. The only thing we would not want”, Frattini added, “is a unilateral action outside the context of the Security Council and outside the regional context. The Arab League”, Frattini went on, illustrating the initiative’s multilateral options, “is an indispensable interlocutor; the African Union has proposed a mission of African Presidents to be sent to Libya to negotiate with Gaddafi; the council of Libyan tribes has made an appeal for internal reconciliation. Everything that might lead to a ceasefire will have our support, as long as it takes place in a multilateral framework”. The minister urged an urgent meeting of the Arab League, the EU and the AU, which, the minister asserted, “would make it possible to increase pressure on the Libyan regime.