The U.N. Security Council authorized a no-fly zone over Libya and "all necessary measures" to protect civilians after Muammar Gaddafi's forces closed in on Libyan rebels. The Libyan government has declared a ceasefire.
Following are Arab reactions to Thursday's U.N. resolution:
AMR MOUSSA, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE ARAB LEAGUE
"The goal is to protect civilians first of all, and not to invade or occupy. The resolution is clear on that point. We don't want any side to go too far, including Libya by attacking the civilian population. Our main task is to protect the Libyan civilian population. This is our task, this is our goal.
"The Arab League decision was clear, what we need is a no-fly zone and safe areas."
FAWZI SALLOUKH, FORMER LEBANESE FOREIGN MINISTER
"It was a good and necessary decision to safeguard the stability of Libya ... From what I can see, some Arab countries will take part in the implementation of the resolution, but I can't say which ones until they themselves declare it."
AZZAN HUNAIDI, JORDANIAN ISLAMIST ACTIVIST
"I don't think this is military intervention as long as there are no troops or an occupation of Libya. In the face of these crimes which Gaddafi is committing against a defenseless people that is moving peacefully to demand changes ... the least is to stop the air bombardment."
RIYAD AL-NAWAYSEH, JORDANIAN INDEPENDENT OPPOSITION FIGURE
"This intervention gives a pretext to foreign forces to intervene in the Arab world and it's not acceptable to resort to the foreigner under any pretext... The most glaring example of the deviation of this behavior was what happened in Iraq."
RAMI KHOURI, BEIRUT-BASED POLITICAL COMMENTATOR
"People talk of Arab honor, solidarity and dignity. Nobody has trampled on those things in the last 40 years more than Muammar Gaddafi. If there is a resolution, Arab consensus and international support and the Libyan people are clearly for it, then the Arabs should stop being so hypocritical and engage in providing military, economic, political, diplomatic and humanitarian support ... and end this nightmare of the Gaddafi regime."
HILAL KHASHAN, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR AT AMERICAN
UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT
"It's not what Arab ruling elites want, it's what the people want ... Libyans in Benghazi are welcoming the West, they're hoisting the French flag because (France) recognized the transitional council."
SHI'ITE WOMAN AT MOSQUE IN BAHRAIN
"I'm happy about this. It was the right decision but it came too late. It gives us optimism that if conditions get worse in Bahrain, we would also get U.N. help."
SALAH MOHAMED, 64, SUDANESE RETIREE LIVING IN CAIRO
"This military action should not be viewed as a war because they are moving to stop Gaddafi who wants to wipe out his own people, which is madness."
SAFINAZ MAHMOUD, 58, CAIRO HOUSEWIFE
"I do not want the U.N. forces to remain in Libya after Gaddafi falls ... Egypt has its own problems now and is trying to overcome the counter-revolution. The army is busy handling domestic issues, and the time is not suitable for any intervention by Egypt."
AMIRA MOHAMED, 26, EGYPTIAN BANKER
"If this U.N. military action overthrows Gaddafi, other protesters will be inspired and encouraged to stage protests to topple their repressive regimes. But if Gaddafi succeeds in suppressing the rebels ... other Arab protesters will be deterred from starting revolutions against their autocratic rulers."
KHADEEJA ABU AL-AFW, LEBANESE WOMAN
"I am with freeing the Libyan people but I am against the occupation of Libya by the United States and others under the auspices of the United Nations."
JOHN SFAKIANAKIS, CHIEF ECONOMIST AT BANQUE SAUDI FRANSI
"I don't think Saudi Arabia will get involved in strikes (on Libya) as they exhibit moderation and I don't think it will be in their best interests. The issue right now for Saudi Arabia is to address the political economy and the situation in Bahrain. I don't think it would be prudent to open many fronts at this stage."
KHALID AL-DAKHIL, SAUDI POLITICAL ANALYST
"I don't think Saudi Arabia will get involved. Firstly, it is too far from Libya and secondly the Saudis have their hands full with events in the Gulf, with Oman and Bahrain. Libya's neighbors would be in a better position to do that -- Morocco, Egypt or Algeria."
"They are doing exactly what they did in Iraq, using an excuse to get into where they want to go ... This will be more bloodshed and another occupation of an Arab country, one that America cannot afford."
(Compiled by Alistair Lyon, reporting by Sherine El Madany and Edmund Blair in Cairo, Erika Solomon in Bahrain, Jason Benham in Riyadh, Asma Alsharif in Jeddah, Alistair Lyon and Yara Bayoumy in Beirut and Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman)