Libya not about oil, Cameron says

March 30, 2011 at 9:51 AM   |   Comments

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LONDON, March 30 (UPI) -- The Western military intervention in Libya has nothing to do with the country's vast oil reserves, the British prime minister said.

NATO is leading a Western military intervention in Libya under the auspices of a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing a no-fly zone to protect civilians from forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told the BBC that the military intervention was based on a humanitarian need on the ground in Libya.

"This is not about Libyan oil," he said.

Rebel leaders in control of key oil ports in Libya said they could start working with Qatar to get oil out of the country.

The European Union said its sanctions on Libya target specific individuals and companies and isn't a countrywide embargo.

Washington said it wouldn't block rebel oil sales if the revenue didn't find its way into Gadhafi's hands.

Family members of the victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 said oil companies have invested billions of dollars in Libya since previous U.S. sanctions were lifted five years ago.

Former Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted for the 1988 bombing, was released by Scottish officials in August 2009 on compassionate grounds because of a terminal prostate cancer diagnosis. Critics claim his release was tied to oil exploration plans for Libya.

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