Australia’s Gillard Backs Military Action to End Libya Violence

The Australian government supports military action in Libya to prevent its leader Muammar Qaddafi from committing further violence against his people, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.

“This is about a broad range of military actions to try and protect the Libyan people,” Gillard told Sky television in an interview broadcast today in Sydney. “We’ve seen from every statement that he intends to wreak more and more violence.”

President Barack Obama authorized U.S. armed forces to begin “limited” operations to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya, as U.S. and coalition ships and aircraft hit the North African nation’s air defenses. Gillard said today that the United Nations Security Council would need to “meet and deliberate” again if ground forces are needed in Libya.

The military action “is no walk in the park” and is a difficult and complex operation, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said in a separate interview on Channel Ten today.

Qaddafi is a “brutal, bloody dictator” whose threats against his civilian population “are breathtaking,” Rudd said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacob Greber in Sydney at jgreber@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net

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