India on Sunday regretted the air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition forces in Libya and called upon all the parties to abjure use of force and resolve the differences through peaceful means.
“India views with grave concern the continuing violence, strife and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya. It regrets the air strikes that are taking place. The measures adopted should mitigate and not exacerbate an already difficult situation for the people of the country,” Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement here “Spoke to Ambassador (M) Manimekalai in Tripoli a short while ago. She is cool and calm. Harrowing Saturday night though with jets screaming above, she says the Ambassador,” Foreign Secretary, Nirupama Rao said in her tweet.
Further more, the Ministry said India hopes that the air strikes would not harm innocent civilians, foreign nationals and diplomatic missions and their personnel, who are still in Libya. “India calls upon all parties to abjure use of or the threat of use of force and to resolve their differences through peaceful means and dialogue in which the U.N. and regional organisations should play their roles,” it added.
The U.S.-led military coalition today hit Libyan defence targets with cruise missiles and launched air attacks as Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi vowed to open his arms depots to the people to retaliate against the Western aggression. French jets fired the first shots in ‘Operation Odyssey Dawn’, the biggest international military intervention in the Arab world since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, destroying tanks and armoured vehicles in eastern Libya, Al-Jazeera reported.
They were joined by the U.S. and the U.K. who fired over 110 Tomahawk missiles from American and British ships and submarines, hitting about 20 Libyan defence targets in the capital Tripoli and along the Mediterranean coast, U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, William Gortney said at a Pentagon briefing.
The U.N. Security Council had on Thursday adopted a resolution, calling for an immediate ceasefire and authorised all necessary measures for protecting civilians in Libya from Gaddafi's forces.