News / Middle East

    Obama: Gadhafi Regime Ending

    He says the United States will continue to work with the international community to support a peaceful transition to democracy in Libya.

    President Barack Obama speaks about Libya, Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, while on vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
    President Barack Obama speaks about Libya, Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, while on vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

    U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday that Libya's people are within reach of the future they deserve as the 42-year rule of Moammar Gadhafi comes to an end.  The president spoke in Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts where Mr. Obama is vacationing with his family.

    In his statement, the president said the situation remains fluid, but that it is clear Libyans are on the verge of attaining the future they desire. "There remains a degree of uncertainty and there are still regime elements who pose a threat.  But this much is clear, the Gadhafi regime is coming to an end and the future of Libya is in the hands of its people," he said.

    The Libyan Rebellion

    • February 15, 2011: Inspired by Arab Spring revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, riots break out in Benghazi
    • February 26, 2011: The U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and his family. The International Criminal Court is asked to investigate the crackdown on rebels.
    • March 19, 2011: U.S., Britain and France launch U.N.-mandated air attacks over Libya to halt advances on civilians by Mr. Gadhafi's forces.
    • March 30, 2011: Libyan Foreign Minister, Moussa Koussa, defects and flies to Britain. Other senior officials follow suit.
    • April 30, 2011: A NATO missile attack on a house in Tripoli kills Mr. Gadhafi's youngest son and three grandchildren.
    • June 27, 2011: The International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants for Mr. Gadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi.
    • July 15, 2011: The United States recognizes the Transitional National Council as the legitimate government of Libya.
    • July 28, 2011: Former interior minister Abdel Fattah Younes, who defected to the rebels in February and became their military chief, is killed.
    • August 20, 2011: Rebels launch their first attack on the nation's capital, Tripoli, in coordination with NATO forces.

    Mr. Obama said he had just met with his national security team, and spoken by telephone with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

    Celebrations in the streets of Libya, he said, show that the pursuit of human dignity is stronger than any dictator.  But President Obama cautioned that as the Libyan government collapses, certain elements threaten to prolong the fighting. "Although it is clear that Gadhafi's rule is over, he still has the opportunity to reduce further bloodshed by explicitly relinquishing power to the people of Libya and calling for those forces that continue to fight to lay down their arms for the sake of Libya," he said.

    Looking ahead, Mr. Obama called on the Transitional National Council, or TNC, to continue taking steps to bring about a "peaceful, inclusive and just" transition.  He said the United States will support the TNC with Gadhafi government assets that were frozen earlier this year.

    Mr. Obama said the United States, NATO and other partners will continue to help safeguard Libya's people as what he called "remaining regime elements" menace parts of the country.

    The president also addressed Americans for whom he said events in Libya have a particular resonance, noting the murder of scores of Americans in acts of terror sponsored by the Gadhafi government.

    For NATO, Mr. Obama said the Libyan intervention, with help from Arab states, proves that the alliance is the most capable alliance in the world and demonstrates what the international community can achieve when it stands as one.

    The president directed this remark to the Libyan people. "An ocean divides us, but we are joined in the basic human longing for freedom, justice and for dignity.  Your revolution is your own, and your sacrifices have been extraordinary.  Now, the Libya you deserve is within your reach," he said.

    Mr. Obama said that although "huge challenges" remain, events in Libya are a reminder that "fear can give way to hope and that the power of people striving for freedom can bring about a brighter day."

    In other developments, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with TNC chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil, discussing efforts to assemble an inclusive new government.

    Clinton also spoke with Jeffrey Feltman, the State Department's chief Middle East diplomat who just completed a visit to the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, and with the U.S. envoy to the TNC, Chris Stevens.

    Officials of the international "Contact Group" on Libya, including foreign ministers of France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, and officials of Qatar and Britain are scheduled to meet Thursday in Istanbul to coordinate next steps on Libya.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.