The Netherlands will do what it can to prevent international forces arming the rebels in Libya, prime minister Mark Rutte said on Friday.
MPs on Thursday urged Nato not to intervene militarily in Libya, arguing that change must come from the Libyans themselves, not the international community.
There is pressure in the US for the international community to supply arms to opponents of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Rutte said the Netherlands is opposed to arming opposition forces and that the UN resolution paving the way for military intervention in Libya does not allow it either. He also re-emphasised the cabinet’s decision that the Netherlands will not be involved in bombing Libyan government targets.
The MPs were speaking during Thursday night’s debate on extending the Dutch role to monitoring the UN-declared no-fly zone.
CDA MP Henk Jan Ormel warned that military intervention could also give rise to expectations in Sudan or Ivory Coast.
And Labour’s Frans Timmermans said Nato must keep strictly to the terms of the UN resolution. Arming the rebels in Libya would be ‘beyond the boundaries of what the UN agreed,’ he said. If that happened, the PvdA would no longer support the mission, he said.
The left-wing green party GroenLinks on Thursday withdrew its support for the Dutch mission in Libya, saying there are too many uncertainties and divisions about the aim of the Nato action.
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