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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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