News / USA

Obama, UN Secretary-General Meet on Libya

President Barack Obama (r) and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meeting at the White House, February 28, 2011
President Barack Obama (r) and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meeting at the White House, February 28, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met at the White House on Monday for talks dominated by the situation in Libya.  The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, also took part in the discussions and spoke with reporters.

The talks came as the United States considers what additional options to use to deal with the bloodshed in Libya, where military forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi battle opposition forces.

Appearing at a White House news briefing after attending an Oval Office meeting between President Obama and Secretary-General Ban, Ambassador Rice referred to the U.N. Security Council resolution approved over the weekend.

Approved unanimously, the resolution refers human rights violations in Libya to the International Criminal Court, and includes a travel ban, assets freeze on Libyan leaders, and an arms embargo.

"These sanctions and accountability mechanisms should make all members of the Libyan regime think about the choice they have before them," said Susan Rice. "Violate human rights and be held accountable, or stop the violence and respect the Libyan people's call or change.  There is no escaping that critical choice."

Rice said all Security Council members are determined to ensure that sanctions work as swiftly as possible.  She repeated President Obama's call for Mr. Gadhafi to step aside to prevent further bloodshed.

Rice responded to comments by the Libyan leader in an interview with foreign reporters in Tripoli, in which he again refused to step aside, saying that all Libyans love him and asserted that al-Qaida is behind the opposition.

"It sounds just frankly, delusional," she said. "When he can laugh in talking to American and international journalists, while he is slaughtering his own people, it only underscores how unfit he is to lead and how disconnected he is from reality."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said again on Monday that the United States is "actively reaching out" to those in the Libyan opposition who are working to bring about a government that respects human rights and meets the aspirations of the Libyan people.  He called speculation about official recognition of any particular faction of the opposition premature.

Carney had this response when asked about the option of Moammar Gadhafi going into exile:

"It would be a quick option and it would comport with our desire to see him step down, and remove himself from power," said Carney. "We are most interested in the end of his treatment of his people, the end of the violence against the Libyan people.  And if exile is a quick option to make that happen, we would support that.  But he and others will be held accountable for their actions, regardless."

White House officials are not saying how that might happen, with whom President Obama might have discussed the option or where Mr. Gadhafi might go.

Carney said the United States and the international community are not attempting to reason with the Libyan leader, other than making clear to him and those around him the choices they confront in the face of united international opposition.

The White House and Ambassador Rice also pointed to the U.S. Treasury Department announcement on Monday that about $30 billion of Libyan assets in the United States have been frozen.

Secretary-General Ban and President Obama also discussed the situation in Ivory Coast, with Ambassador Rice saying they expressed their concern about the escalation of violence there.

They also discussed the independence referendum in South Sudan and "vital work" remaining for the U.N. and international community, and parties to the Sudanese conflict to resolve outstanding issues as the south readies for independence in July.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid