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World Leaders Slam Libyan Violence

Secretary-General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa (File Photo - January 26, 2011)

Secretary-General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa (File Photo - January 26, 2011)

A number of world leaders are demanding a peaceful resolution of the turmoil in Libya.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa called Monday for an end to the violence in the north African nation, and said he sees the Libyan protesters' demands as legitimate.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke by phone with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and expressed deep concern at the escalating scale of violence. The U.N. says Mr. Ban urged respect for basic freedoms and human rights, and underlined the need to ensure the protection of the civilian population under any circumstances.

European Union officials are encouraging Libya to move toward democracy. They are fearful about the safety of their nationals now in Libya.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned Monday what he called the "unacceptable use of force" in Libya and called for an "immediate end" to the violence.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the Libyan central government's deadly crackdown on anti-government protests is "completely appalling and unacceptable," using the "most vicious forms of repression." He was speaking from Cairo, where he began a visit to Egypt Monday.

The United States also has voiced objections to the lethal use of force on protesters, in meetings with Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa and other officials.

In Brussels, a European Union official said Libya has threatened the EU it will stop curbing illegal migration from North Africa to Europe if the bloc continues to support anti-government protests.

Italy is particularly concerned about the prospect of an influx of migrants as it is already a popular entry point for North Africans seeking a better life in Europe. Thousands of North African migrants have sailed to the Italian island of Lampedusa since the ouster of Tunisia's president last month.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.