U.S. President Barack Obama says the U.S. and its NATO allies are considering a "wide range of potential options" including military options to stop what he called the "unacceptable" violence being carried out by the Libyan government and its supporters against anti-Gadhafi rebels.
Obama said Monday at the White House that he wanted to send a clear message that those working for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi will be held accountable for their choices.
The president also said he has authorized an additional $15 million in humanitarian aid for the people of Libya.
Obama spoke after an Oval Office meeting with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He said the United States and Australia are united in their view on Libya, standing for democracy in the face of "unwarranted violence."
Mr. Obama also thanked Australian troops for making what he described as extraordinary contributions in Afghanistan. He offered condolences for those Australians affected by January's floods in the state of Queensland.
Gillard said she is "personally committed" to the war in Afghanistan and that she and Obama had discussed the transition of security responsibility from NATO to Afghanistan.
She also said she is "pleased and grateful" for the rare opportunity to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress during her visit.