Assistant Secretary of State: No-fly zone established at Arab States League's request
Kazakhstan, Astana, March 26 / Trend A. Maratov /
No-fly zone over Libya has been established at the request of the League of Arab States, the Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake said at a press conference in Astana on Friday.
"No-fly zone has been established at the request of the League of Arab States after the voting was held and the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1973," Blake said answering to journalists' questions.
He said that government and military in Libya are responsible for hundreds and perhaps thousands of deaths of civilians in that country.
"The League of Arab States made a request about that the intervention and actions taken by the coalition forces to establish and maintain no-fly zone should be carried out carefully so that they were targeted only at Gaddafi's defense system, not civilians," he said.
Blake said that the coalition's mission is the protection of civilians.
"The Libyan people believe that many lives will be saved during the coalition's operations," he concluded.
Blake is a career Foreign Service Officer. Ambassador Blake entered the Foreign Service in 1985. He has served at the American Embassies in Tunisia, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt. He held a number of positions at the State Department in Washington, including senior desk officer for Turkey, Deputy Executive Secretary, and Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. Ambassador Blake served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission in India from 2003 - 2006, as Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives from 2006 to mid-2009, and as Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs from May 2009 to the present.