Douglas Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, commenting on the situation in the Middle East, said:
"Given the appalling violence in Libya, we welcome the fact that the UN Security Council is now meeting later today to discuss the situation.
"The UN, working with the EU, should be central to the broader strategic response to the seismic and unfolding events in the Middle East.
"The too long denied demand for change that is sweeping through the region is challenging old orders abroad and past assumptions at home.
"We should certainly be optimistic about the possibilities but also honest about the challenges.
"These are decisive days for the Arab world's future. Communication and integration are challenging repression and isolation.
"We are seeing that the yearning for a better life is indeed universal, and Britain should stand with and support the cause of progress."