News / Africa

Clinton: No Decision to Arm Libyan Rebels

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (center) speaks during a conference at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London, March 29, 2011
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (center) speaks during a conference at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London, March 29, 2011

Multimedia

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that world powers have made no decision to arm Libyan rebels, but that the U.N. resolution authorizing the allied air campaign against Libyan government forces does not preclude that.  Clinton spoke in London at the close of a 40-nation conference on Libya.

Clinton stressed that the international coalition enforcing the Libyan no-fly-zone is not near any agreement to give the rebels direct military help.

But at a London news conference before leaving for Washington, the secretary of state said Libya’s opposition Transitional National Council can expect foreign financial assistance.

"We have not made any decision about arming the rebels or providing any arms transfers, so there has not been any need to discuss that at this point," she said.  "We did discuss non-lethal assistance.  We discussed ways of trying to enable the Transition National Council to meet a lot of their financial needs and how we could do that through the international community given the challenges that sanctions pose, but recognizing that they obviously are going to need funds to keep themselves going."

Clinton said the U.S. interpretation of U.N. Security Council resolution 1973, which authorized coalition military operations in Libya, is that it overrode previous measures barring the provision of arms to Libyan parties and that there could be a "legitimate" transfer of arms to the rebel movement.

But British Foreign Secretary William Hague, whose government convened the international conference, said the question of arming the rebels was not on the agenda.

Clinton began her London visit by meeting with Libyan opposition figure Mahmoud Jibril and other members of the transitional council.  She said she remains satisfied with what she termed their "robust" commitment to democracy and broad engagement with Libyans from across the political spectrum.

Clinton again said that Moammar Gadhafi has lost his legitimacy and "must go," but she suggested that a way to a face-saving departure to a third country for the Libyan leader remains open.

"The [U.N.] secretary general’s special envoy will be going to Tripoli and Benghazi, once again to urge Gadhafi to implement a real ceasefire that is not going to be immediately breached by his own forces, to withdraw from those areas that he has taken by force, and to look for a political resolution, which could include his leaving the country," she said. "So, I mean, all of this is in play."

Clinton indicated again that there has been outreach by people in Gadhafi's camp about a way out of the current situation.  But she said it was "just not sensible" to try to predict when the crisis might end.

Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin-Jassim al-Thani urged Gadhafi and his close associates to leave Libya and "not pose any more bloodshed," adding that an offer of an exit might be on the table for only a few days more.

Related video report by Robert Raffaele:

You May Like

Sunni-Shi’ite Divide Threatens Middle East Stability

Analysts say ancient dispute that traces back to Islamic Revolution is fueling modern day unrest More

Shifting Demographics Lie Beneath Racial Tensions in Ferguson

As Missouri suburb morphed from majority white to majority black, observers say power structure remained static More

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Restriction is toughest since Soviet era, though critics reject move as patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid