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U.N. chief calls on Gadhafi to 'cease all hostilities'

By Al Goodman, CNN
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Libya opposition: Civilian areas shelled
  • Spanish prime minister says international community "will not be fooled" by Libyan cease-fire
  • Ban says those who commit crimes against innocents "will be brought to justice"
  • Ban going to Paris for meeting with EU, African Union and Arab League

Madrid, Spain (CNN) -- The Libyan government "must immediately cease all hostilities against the civilian population," U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said Friday in Madrid and the Spanish prime minister added the international community "will not be fooled" by the government's cease-fire declaration.

Their statements came a day after the U.N. Security Council voted to impose a no-fly zone in Libya, which Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime answered on Friday by declaring a cease-fire in its advance against rebels there who have appealed for international help.

"This is a difficult situation," Ban said. "Thousands of lives are at stake."

He sidestepped a reporter's question asking if the U.N. took the cease-fire seriously, but repeatedly called on Gadhafi's regime to halt its attacks and added, "Attacks against unarmed civilians is a violation of international humanitarian and human rights. Those perpetrators who have committed and who will commit these crimes will be accountantable and will be brought to justice."

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Ban said he would meet Saturday in Paris, at the invitation of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, with leaders of the European Union, the African Union and the Arab League, "to discuss ways to move forward to protect the people of Libya."

Of the U.N. resolution, he said, "It is imperative that the international community continues to speak with one voice."

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, standing next to Ban at a news conference, said the security resolution already has had its first effect -- Gadhafi's declaration of a cease-fire -- but he added, "the international community will not be fooled by the Libyan regime. The international community will verify, with all of its means, the strict compliance of the resolution."

Zapatero, who will also attend the talks Saturday in Paris, said Spain has offered NATO forces, including the United States, use of Spanish bases to enforce the U.N. resolution on Libya, and that Spain also will make available air and naval assets.

The military participation must be approved by the Spanish Parliament, Zapatero said, adding he's ready to go there to explain why Spain needs to provide assets for the international effort in Libya.

Ban said that after the meeting in France, he will visit Egypt and Tunisia. "People of both countries have shown immense courage to bring about a democratic order," he said.

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