David Blackburn

The Arab League puts a spanner in the works

The Arab League puts a spanner in the works
Text settings

According to Sky’s Tim Marshall, the Arab League is to meet in emergency session to discuss events in Libya. It seems that some of its members are opposed to the action being taken by the French, which it believes exceeds the remit of the UN Resolution for a no-fly zone. The bombing of tanks in particular has raised the ire of its General Secretary Amr Moussa.

The Arab League’s assent was crucial to obtaining the Resolution, so Moussa’s reservations are significant – although quite what he thought he was agreeing to in the first place is anyone’s guess. Moussa is a probable candidate in the forthcoming Egyptian presidential election, so perhaps Sarkozy is not the only leader using Libya for personal gain.

However, Moussa’s control of the Arab League seems far from total. Qatar became the first emirate openly to join the allies’ military action and others are understood to have participated in the last 24 hours. Perhaps Arab states will act unilaterally, but the Arab League’s continued support will probably be essential to Operation Odyssey Dawn.