News / Africa

Panetta says Libya Mission Should Continue

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta meets with Egyptian Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, second from right, and Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf at the Financial Authority House in Cairo, Egypt, October 4, 2011.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta meets with Egyptian Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, second from right, and Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf at the Financial Authority House in Cairo, Egypt, October 4, 2011.
Luis Ramirez

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the NATO mission in Libya should continue as long there is fighting in the country.  Panetta spoke in Egypt, where he stopped on Tuesday to offer Egyptian leaders help in returning the country to civilian rule.  

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta praised Egyptian leaders for the progress he said they are making in transitioning the country to democratic rule, following the popular uprising early this year that ousted longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.  

Panetta spoke in Cairo as he headed to a NATO defense ministers' meeting in Brussels where the subject of Libya is on the agenda.  The U.S. defense secretary said the NATO mission to protect civilians should continue as long as there is fighting. “There continues to be fighting. Fighting in Sirt.  Fighting in other areas.  We still do not know where Qadhafi is.  And so there are still some question marks with regards to the situation there," he said.

NATO has committed to keep the operation going for another three months.  Panetta said he will speak with ministers of NATO allies in Brussels this week to get a sense of how they feel about keeping the operation going until the fighting ends between Libyan revolutionary forces and holdouts loyal to former leader Moammar Qadhafi. “I think the fighting has to end.  They can not continue to have the level of fighting that they are still having there and be able to have the kind of governance issues that they are going to have to confront in order to establish stability in Libya," he said.

The U.S. official met with Egypt's interim leader, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and the country's intelligence chief.  He offered reassurances that the United States stands ready to assist them with the transition to democratic rule.  The first phase of parliamentary elections is scheduled for next month.  

Panetta also repeated the Obama administration's calls for emergency rule, imposed three decades ago, to be lifted soon. Egyptian leaders recently tightened that rule following a mob attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo.  They are scheduled to lift it next year.  

The U.S. defense secretary said the United States has urged Egyptian officials to release Ilan Grapel, an Israeli-American who is jailed in Egypt and accused of spying for Israel.  But Panetta said he has not done anything personally nor is involved in any direct negotiations on the case.  News reports in Israel, where Mr. Panetta visited earlier this week, had speculated that he would work for Grapel's release during his visit.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid