BRICS nations speak out against use of force in Libya

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Sanya/China, Apr 14: India and four other nations of the BRICS grouping today (Apr 14) collectively voiced their opposition to the use of force in Libya and pitched for a central role for the United Nations and regional organisations in resolving the matter.

Reflecting on the situation in the Middle East and North African countries at the Summit of Brazil-Russia- India-China-South Africa (BRICS), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh observed that there was a "shift of power towards ordinary citizens" and "people were determining their own future".

Singh, along with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and South African President Jacob Zuma, discussed the volatile situation in that region, particularly Libya, and its impact on the five emerging nations.

"We share the principle that the use of force should be avoided," said a Declaration issued here after Summit.

The Declaration, however, refrained from calling for an end to the NATO airstrikes on Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi's military assets.

The five countries, all of which are interestingly members of the UN Security Council at present, pledged to continue their cooperation in the world body on Libya. While Russia and China are the permanent members, India, Brazil and South Africa are non-permanent members.

"We are of the view that all the parties should resolve their differences through peaceful means and dialogue in which the UN and regional organisations should as appropriate play their role," said the Declaration of the Summit.

They expressed support for the African Union High-Level Panel Initiative on Libya.

Expressing concern over the "turbulence" in the Middle East, the North African and West African regions, the leaders said, "We underscore that the concurrent presence of all five BRICS countries in the Security Council during the year of 2011 is a valuable opportunity to work closely together on issues of peace and security, to strengthen multilateral approaches and to facilitate future coordination on issues under UN Security Council consideration".

They "sincerely" wished that the affected countries achieve peace, stability, prosperity and progress and "enjoy their due standing and dignity in the world according to legitimate aspirations of their peoples".

The BRICS maintained that independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of each nation should be respected. 

Addressing the Summit, Hu emphasised the need for abiding by the "purposes and principles" of the UN Charter and bringing into full play the central role of the UN and Security Council in peace-keeping, peace-making and peace-building.

"We should seek peaceful settlement to international disputes through dialogue and consultation," he said.

Medvedev said the leaders voiced concern over the situation in Libya and felt that it should be addressed through political and diplomatic means and not through use of force.

In this regard, he commended the initiative taken by the African Union (AU).

Zuma, who is leading the African initiative to address the Libyan crisis, said the AU roadmap was designed to assist Libyans to arrive at a lasting political solution.

PTI

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