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Barak hopes it's not too late
Photo: AP
Barak: We won't be part of Libya intervention
Defense minister tells Sky News efficient action could see Gaddafi regime gone 'within several weeks or months.' In long run, he adds, revolutions in Arab world a good phenomena
WASHINGTON – Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Friday night that Israel supports an international intervention in Libya, and that he hopes such an intervention would topple Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi within several weeks or months.

 

In an interview to British network Sky News, Barak stressed that Israel would have no role in imposing an aerial siege on Libya, which is expected to take effect as early as this weekend.

 

"I hope the (British) Prime Minister (David Cameron) is right and it's not too late," Barak said. "Still Gaddafi might try to trick us all by sending his people in civilian clothes to get hold inside Benghazi without being a target for an attack from the air.

 

"I believe that if this is imposed effectively, and backed by the Arab countries - which is extremely significant - it might ultimately lead to (Gaddafi) being toppled. We hope that what will happen ultimately, probably with several weeks or several months, Gaddafi will be over."

 

Addressing the revolutions in the Arab world, the defense minister said that the buds of a civil society could help the people establish something more.

 

"It's moving to see Arab nations on their own feet demanding their... rights," he said.

 

"Our experience with revolutions is... Arab societies are not really open societies, not really pluralistic and you cannot expect ... Vaclav Havel (to take) over an Arab country."

 

He added that Israel did not pretend to be able to influence what happens in the Arab world and conceded that should Gaddafi's regime fall - as those in Tunisia and Egypt have - whoever comes to power may not be as sympathetic towards Israel.

 

"We should admit those moderate autocrats in the Arab world were extremely responsible regarding the peace process and stability and relationship with the West," he said.

 

"You cannot expect the same responsibility and common sense from the public, the popular vote. But in the long run, it's still a good phenomena, good development (and) very promising."

 

 

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