9 votes needed for Libya no-fly zone resolution


Nine votes are needed tonight for the Libya resolution to pass the security council – the Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill thinks it will be 10 for, with five abstentions:

Voting for the resolution:

Permanent members: United States, Britain, France

Non-permanent members:: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa


Permanent members: Russia, China

Non-permanent members: Germany, Brazil, India

The Guardian’s Luke Harding spoke with Germany’s foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, and he sounded hostile:

Westerwelle warned the results of western military intervention were “unpredictable” and could have consequences for freedom movements in the Arab world.

“Your own instinct is to say ‘We have to do something.’ But military intervention is to take part in a civil war that could go on for a long time.

“Germany has a strong friendship with our European partners. But we won’t take part in any military operation and I will not send German troops to Libya.”

Westerwelle said other options could be used against Libya including “targeted sanctions, political pressure and international isolation”.

“Considering alternatives to military engagement is not the same as doing nothing,” he said. He declined to say how Germany would vote this evening at the UN security council.

From the sound of those comments, Germany is likely to abstain tonight – but will Angela Merkel want Germany to be out of step with the rest of Europe on this?