The Address | Benghazi – Libya
WASHINGTON – The recently declassified emails of the former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, reveal that Russia and China strongly favored a political solution to the Libyan civil war in 2011.
An email date 4 April 2011 was sent by the US ambassador to the United Nations at that time, Susan Rice, to Clinton’s advisor Jacob Sullivan, which the latter then forwarded to Clinton.
In the email, Rice communicated the UN Security Council’s briefing on Libya and the subsequent closed consultations.
China, India, and Russia were “most critical” of the NATO’s actions in Libya, Rice stated, before adding that they claimed that NATO overstepped the mandate established by 1973 and claimed that coalition airstrikes have injured civilians.
According to Rice, “the Russian [Permanent Representative] exclaimed that “violence only leads to violence,” and the Indian [Permanent Representative] expressed concern about the
“talk” of “arming rebels or putting [foreign] boots on the ground”.
India also warned against “picking sides in a tribal society such as Libya’s and cautioned against taking actions that could lead to the division of the country,” according to the email.
“Several Council members stressed that the arms embargo applies to all sides and stated explicitly that arming of the rebels would be in contravention of the embargo,” Rice stated.
According to the former US diplomat, China said “there must be a political solution to the crisis”. Similarly, Rice stated that Russia said that “any political transformation must ultimately be led by Libyans”.
A 2012 UN report concluded that NATO airstrikes led to the killing of dozens of civilians in Libya.
A report by the British parliament, which was released in 2016, found that late dictator Muammar Gaddafi was not planning to massacre civilians in 2011, unlike what was claimed by the widespread reports at that time, which prompted the NATO intervention.
The British parliament concluded that such reports was propagated by Libyan rebels and Western governments.