News / Middle East

Clinton: Libyan Bloodshed 'Completely Unacceptable'

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaks at the State Department in Washington Feb. 22, 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaks at the State Department in Washington Feb. 22, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday said violence unleashed against Libyan protesters is "completely unacceptable" and that the United States will take "appropriate steps" to deal with the situation.  Clinton and other U.S. officials are focusing on the safety of several thousand American citizens in Libya.  

Officials here indicate they are tempering their Libya rhetoric out of concern for Americans who might become stranded in Libya.  But Clinton’s remarks still were the harshest by the United States thus far about the violence there.

At a press event with Latvian Foreign Minister Girts Valdis Kristovskis, Clinton called the bloodshed in Libya, which might have claimed hundreds of victims, "completely unacceptable" and said it is the responsibility of Libyan authorities to respect the universal rights of their people.

She said that although the Libyan government shutdown of communications is limiting U.S. understanding of the situation, the American and world response to the violence is unequivocal. "I think that the message today is very clear and unambiguous from the entire international community.  There is no ambivalence.  There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the violence must stop and that the government of Libya has a responsibility to respect the universal rights of all of its citizens, and to support the exercise of those rights," she said.

Clinton said the safety and well-being of Americans in Libya is the Obama administration’s highest immediate priority and that the United States is in contact with officials in Libya and neighboring states on their behalf.

Officials here say several thousand Americans, many with dual U.S. and Libyan citizenship, live in the North African country, including hundreds working in the oil industry.

The State Department on Monday ordered the evacuation of family members of embassy staffers and non-emergency personnel from the U.S. mission in Tripoli.  But officials noted with some concern that none of the affected group of several dozen people has been able to leave.

Clinton noted with approval steps by the monarchy in Bahrain to ease tensions after deadly violence there between security forces and protestors, including a prisoner release and overture for dialogue with opposition elements.

"We hope Bahrain’s friends across the region and around the world will support this initiative as a constructive path to preserve Bahrain’s stability and help meet the aspirations of all its people.  As we have said, these steps will need to be followed by concrete actions and reforms," she said.

Appealing for continued restraint in Bahrain, Clinton urged parties there to "work quickly" so that a national dialogue can produce meaningful measures that respond to the legitimate aspirations of all of the people of Bahrain.

The Sunni Muslim-led Persian Gulf state, with a Shi'ite majority, hosts the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet and is considered critical to American security interests.

Clinton also condemned reports of continued violence in Yemen, while welcoming initial steps by authorities in Egypt and Tunisia toward democratic reform.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs