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G8 backs economic pressure on Gaddafi - France

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The foreign ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized nations plan to further put economic pressure on longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Tuesday.

The foreign ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized nations plan to further put economic pressure on longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Tuesday.

Juppe said after a foreign ministerial meeting that the G8 would also support measures that the UN Security Council could adopt to protect the North African country's civilian population.

"The situation in Libya was at the center of our discussions. The Arab League issued a call to create a no-fly zone. These matters are being discussed in the Security Council as well. Everyone agrees that the Gaddafi regime must stop attacking civilians," he said.

The Arab League voted on Saturday to ask the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. Libyan rebels themselves have also called for a no-fly zone. They have also urged Western countries to carry out military strikes against pro-Gaddafi forces.

Thousands of Libyans have been killed since the first anti-government protests broke out on February 15.

"We are ready to support the adoption by the Security Council of a wide range of measures to protect the Libyan population," Juppe said.

The EU has already imposed a travel ban on Gaddafi, his five family members and two dozen other Libyan officials over the use of violence against peaceful protesters in mid-February. Their European assets have also been frozen.

PARIS, March 15 (RIA Novosti) 

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