Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Libya: Italian official says arming rebels could 'divide' international community

last update: March 30, 11:57 Rome, 30 March (AKI)

- Arming rebels in Libya would be a bad idea that can potentially cause divisions among the international community, according to an Italian government official.

“Arming the rebels would be a controversial measure, an extreme measure that could certainly divide the international community,” foreign ministry spokesman Maurizio Massari said Wednesday in a radio interview with Radioanch’io. Unite States president Barack Obama in a Tuesday interview with the NBC television network said he would consider arming the rebels. "I'm not ruling it out, but I'm also not ruling it in," Obama said. France also did not exclude the possibility of arming rebels when it joined other Nato members states on Tuesday in London to discuss Libya. Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini on Wednesday told Italy's Sky TG24 news channel that the African Union should work with the international community to encourage Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to resign.