News / Africa

US Calls on Gadhafi to Officially Give Up Power

The United States Tuesday, saying the Libyan regime has "nearly collapsed," has called on Muammar Gadhafi to make an "affirmative statement" that he understands his rule is over. The U.S. is pushing for an early release of $1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets to assist the Transitional National Council in consolidating control.

Officials here say that while gunfire in Tripoli continues and the situation remains somewhat fluid, it is clear that a transition is underway, and the best thing Muammar Gadhafi can do is to surface and formally announce he is stepping aside.

Briefing reporters, State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the Gadhafi regime has “nearly collapsed” and that the United States stands with the people of Libya and the Transitional National Council, the TNC, “at this historic time.”

She said Muammar Gadhafi owes the Libyan people and the world community a clear statement that his four-decades of control of the North African country has come to an end.

“What the Libyan people are looking for, and what the international community is looking for, is a reliable, affirmative statement -- not only to the Libyan people and the international community but with his own loyalists - that he understands this is over,  that he understands that the days of his leadership are over, so that everybody can move on,” she said.

Nuland said the United States is working urgently with the United Nations Sanctions Committee for the early release of as much as $1.5 billion dollars in frozen Libyan assets to help the TNC meet immediate security and humanitarian needs.

The United States alone has impounded some $37 billion in Libyan assets in line with U.N. sanctions resolutions against the Gadhafi government. Nuland said the U.S. preference is to have any release of funds to the TNC authorized by the sanctions committee.

But saying a speedy consensus on the U.N. panel may be hard to obtain, she said the United States would “find ways” to release funds to the Libyan interim administration unilaterally.

Some members of Congress and others have advised a cautious approach in releasing funds to the TNC on grounds the Libyan opposition may include Islamic radicals. But Nuland said U.S. diplomats are in “hourly” contact with the TNC leadership and are confident about their commitment to an inclusive democracy.

“We are heartened and encouraged by the fact that the TNC, in all its public pronouncements, in all of its private commitments to us and other members of the international community, has said that it wants to govern in a transparent, democratic way, that it is prepared to meet all of its international human rights commitments and that it does not want a state led by extremists,” Nuland said.

Nuland said it is “premature” to talk about the possible need for a international peacekeeping force in Libya until the TNC has had a chance to evaluate its own needs and makes them know to the United Nations.

She said the calm that has prevailed in TNC-controlled areas, and the absence of revenge attacks on perceived Gadhafi supporters, is encouraging.

Libya’s post-conflict needs will be the main focus of a meeting in Istanbul Thursday of the international “contact group” on Libya that includes the United States, Turkey, and key European and Gulf States.

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will lead the U.S. delegation there.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid