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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track 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.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid