Arab League: Participation of Qadhafi delegation in ministers’ meeting unlikely

A delegation representing the Libyan government is unlikely to participate in Saturday's emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers to discuss the Libyan crisis, deputy secretary-general of the Arab League Ahmed Bin Helli said on Friday.

The United Arab Emirates called the meeting on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). 

Bin Helli told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the League is committed to its assembly's decision last month to suspend the Qadhafi regime's membership and condemn its use of violence against Libyan protesters. 

"We are still committed to the League's decision to suspend Libya's participation in meetings and that participation in any capacity requires a new decision." 

A Libyan delegation arrived in Cairo on Friday in what appeared to be an attempt by Qadhafi's regime to pressure the League into letting it participate in the meeting. Cairo airport officials said the Libyan delegation is headed by Omaran Abu Kra'a, Qadhafi's electricity minister. 

Bin Helli said the League may meet with the delegation outside of the emergency meeting. Meanwhile the League is communicating with members of the Libyan opposition's transitional council, which also sent a delegation to discuss developments.

"We are in touch with all those who are contributing to finding a solution in Libya," said Bin Helli, adding that "all the dimensions" of the situation will be discussed. 

Arab diplomats had indicated that their countries are moving toward endorsing an international decision to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, in order stop the Qadhafi regime's air strikes against opponents in the Eastern parts of the country. 

The diplomats said that this measure will be endorsed despite objections from some Arab countries. They said there is strong Saudi support for a no-fly zone, and the rest of the GCC states and a number of other Arab countries also support it. 

In a statement the GCC announced that the Libyan regime has lost its legitimacy. It asked the Arab League to "bear its responsibilities and take the necessary steps to stop the bloodshed and achieve the aspirations of the Libyan people." The statement calls on the League to investigate all the options available reach that outcome, including calling on the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly-zone.

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