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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
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 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.

All About America

AppleAndroid