The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has appealed to the UN Security Council to protect civilians in Libya as violence continues.

“We call on the international community, especially the UN Security Council, to face their responsibilities in helping the dear people [of Libya],” said Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE’s foreign minister, speaking at a foreign ministers’ meeting of the GCC in Abu Dhabi on 7 March, Kuwait Times reports.

The UN Security Council has already unanimously passed sanctions against the Qaddafi government and referred the situation to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. For now any move towards military action is unlikely, say analysts. Along with resistance from a number of the 15-member security council, Robert Gates, US Secretary of Defence has pointed out that a no-fly zone over Libya would require direct military intervention, including the elimination of Libya’s current air defense systems (MEED 26:2:11).

Abdulrahman al-Attiyah, the GCC secretary general also warned against foreign intervention. “We reject all kinds of foreign intervention in Libya and assert full commitment towards maintaining the national unity of the Libyan people and the sovereignty, unity and safety of its lands”.