News / Europe

Turkish PM Urges Libyan Leader to Step Down

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to the media during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, April 7, 2011 (file photo)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to the media during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, April 7, 2011 (file photo)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to step down and leave the country "immediately."

Mr. Erdogan said Tuesday in Istanbul that Mr. Gadhafi has chosen "blood, tears and destruction" while ignoring calls for reform. He said Mr. Gadhafi must step down to prevent the Libyan people from further suffering.

Regional power Turkey has been a strong ally of the Libyan government, and it voiced opposition in March against sanctions or military intervention in the North African country.

On Thursday in Rome, members of the 22-nation Libya Contact Group plan to meet. The group will explore ways to help finance Libyan rebels and will discuss possible diplomatic solutions to the crisis.

The head of the rebel national council's finance committee, Ali Tarhouni, said the Libyan opposition expects France, Italy and the United States to extend billions of dollars in desperately needed credit secured against frozen Libyan state assets.

Libya's deputy foreign minister, Khaled Kaim Tuesday said Mr. Gadhafi has no personal funds in Swiss bank accounts and that any cash abroad is part of Libya's investment portfolio. The Swiss government said Monday it had identified $415 million of potentially illegal assets linked to Mr. Gadhafi or his entourage.

Also Tuesday, Italy said it will work with NATO to set a date to end military operations in Libya. Italy increased its presence in the international mission last week by allowing its fighter jets to participate in bombing operations over Libya.

Early Wednesday, two loud blasts were heard in the capital, Tripoli, apparently from NATO airstrikes.

The U.N. refugee agency says fighting in western Libya has caused more than 8,000 people - mostly ethnic Berber women and children - to flee into southern Tunisia over the past three days. Spokesman Adrian Edwards said Tuesday that African migrants also are fleeing Libya by sea to Italy after a 10-day break due to bad weather.

The International Organization for Migration appealed to all sides in the crisis to allow its rescue ship, the Red Star to dock in the port city of Misrata. The organization said about 1,000 African migrants and dozens of wounded civilians are stranded and need to be evacuated.

The ship has been waiting offshore since Saturday for bombing to stop and the waters outside the city's port - its only lifeline to the world - to be cleared of mines. NATO said it has destroyed two mines laid by pro-government forces and is still searching for a third.

Loyalist forces launched new attacks on Misrata Tuesday. They also shelled a road leading from a critical western border crossing seized by rebel forces last week. Rebels said the shelling was an attempt to disrupt supplies.

Also Tuesday, the general in charge of Libya's opposition forces said a car bomb exploded in front of their headquarters in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. No injuries were reported.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Photogallery Ukraine: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
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. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
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.

AppleAndroid