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

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

Photogallery Belgian Security Measures Foreshadow New Normal for Europe

Rising threat of terrorism, disaffected Muslim populations and open borders, along with refugee, migrant crisis, are creating perfect storm for Europe, which some analysts fear continent is ill-suited to weather

Competing Claims of Responsibility for Mali Hotel Attack

Malian authorities ask public for help in identifying gunmen killed in attack, amid conflicting claims of responsibility from multiple jihadist groups active in the country

Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

This forum has been closed.
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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs