News / Middle East

Obama: Gadhafi 'Must Leave'

An Egyptian watches US amphibious assault ships USS Kearsarge as it sails at the Suez canal in Ismailia , Mar 2 2011
An Egyptian watches US amphibious assault ships USS Kearsarge as it sails at the Suez canal in Ismailia , Mar 2 2011

President Barack Obama issued his strongest call yet on Thursday for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to leave. The president also authorized the use of U.S. military aircraft to help Egyptians who have fled to Tunisia to return home to Egypt.

President Obama said the United States and the world are outraged by what he called the “appalling” violence against the Libyan people. And he urged Libya’s leader to step down.

“The violence must stop. Moammar Gadhafi has lost legitimacy to lead, and he must leave," the president said.  "Those who perpetrate violence against the Libyan people will be held accountable.”

In a joint press conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the White House, Mr. Obama issued his first on-camera statement calling on Mr. Gadhafi to step down. The president had earlier called for the Libyan leader’s ouster in a written statement after speaking by telephone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Mr. Obama said violence against innocent civilians will be monitored, and that Gadhafi supporters will be held accountable. He said supporters who might be calculating which way the conflict is moving should abandon the longtime Libyan leader.

“They should know history is moving against Col. Gadhafi, and that their support for him and their willingness to carry out orders that are direct violence against citizens is something that, ultimately, they will be held accountable for,” the president said.

People who used to work in Libya and fled the unrest in the country, wait to receive clothes, at the Tunisia-Libyan border, in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia, Mar 3 2011
People who used to work in Libya and fled the unrest in the country, wait to receive clothes, at the Tunisia-Libyan border, in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia, Mar 3 2011

Mr. Obama said he is considering all military and nonmilitary options to stop the violence in Libya, including imposing a no-fly zone on the Libyan military.

Despite calls for a no-fly zone, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other U.S. officials have talked about the difficulty of such an operation.

The president said he is working with the international community to devise solutions, especially in case of a humanitarian disaster.

“There is a danger of a stalemate that, over time, could be bloody, and that is something that we are obviously considering," President Obama said. "So what I want to make sure of is that the United States has full capacity to act, potentially rapidly.”

President Obama said he has also authorized the use of U.S. military aircraft to help Egyptian refugees trapped in Tunisia.

“I have, therefore, approved the use of U.S. military aircraft to help move Egyptians who have fled to the Tunisian border, to get back home to Egypt.  I have authorized USAID to charter additional civilian aircraft to help people from other countries find their way home,” Mr. Obama said.

The U.S. Navy has moved two ships into the Mediterranean Sea to be ready to help in any military operation related to the situation in Libya.

Pentagon officials say no decision has been made to start a military operation, and neither the United Nations nor NATO has authorized one.

 

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

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid