[What follows is the text of a press release dated 18 March from the Scottish Government. I post it simply to confirm to anxious readers that, notwithstanding fearsome computer and internet connection difficulties, a trip to Cape Town and a big function at Gannaga Lodge, this blog is still operational.]
Welcoming the agreement by the United Nations Security Council of a "no fly zone" in Libya in order to protect civilians - which imposes a "ban on all flights in Libyan airspace" except for aid planes, as well as other measures such as toughening up the arms embargo and widening of the asset freeze - First Minister Alex Salmond said:
"The fundamental principle of international intervention is that it must be done under the authority of a United Nations mandate, and therefore I welcome the agreement of a 'no fly zone' with the clear legal underpinning of a Security Council resolution.
"The resolution - which proposes a range of measures - is a lesson to the nay-sayers who have dismissed the UN and sought to undermine its authority at every turn. This agreement - which carries the support of the Arab League, as well as the wider international community - is a vindication of the ability of the UN to act."
Mr Salmond - who met with a committee of representatives of the Libyan community in Scotland at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday - added:
"What is vital now is that military intervention delivers the objective of securing the welfare and saving lives of innocent civilians - which is now extremely urgent - that there are agreed aims, and that there is a clear exit strategy."