Photo: Libyan Airstrike and Spains Cooperation
The latest developments in the Middle East and North Africa topped the agenda during meetings between Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Spanish leaders when the United Nations chief visited the European country this weekend.
He met with Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiménez, and had an audience with King Juan Carlos on Friday.
The Secretary-General stressed that Libya must cease all hostilities against its people immediately and that those responsible for human rights violations will be held accountable.
Mr. Ban expressed his gratitude for Spain’s contributions to the work of the UN in its core mandates – peace and security, development and human rights.
He traveled on Saturday to Paris for meetings with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as other European, Arab and African leaders. “We will discuss ways to move forward to protect the people of Libya, in accordance with [Security Council] Resolution 1973,” Mr. Ban told reporters in Madrid. From those meeting world leaders including the Spanish government agreed to use military force against Libya. Tonight is the second night of air strikes against Libya conducted by the international coalition.
“I trust that the Government and people of Spain will also stand in solidarity with Tunisia and Egypt as they seek to chart a prosperous and democratic future,” Mr. Ban said.
His discussions with the Spanish leaders also touched on situation in other areas, including Western Sahara. “I know I can count on the continued support of Spain for the efforts of my Special Envoy towards finding a solution” to the dispute in Western Sahara, he said.