News / Middle East

Clinton: US to Consider All Options Against Libya

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (r) and Brazil's Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota at the State Department in Washington, February 23, 2011
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (r) and Brazil's Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota at the State Department in Washington, February 23, 2011

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the Obama administration will look at all possible options to persuade Libyan authorities to end violence against protestors. Clinton discussed Libya strategy with Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota, whose government is the current president of the U.N. Security Council.

Clinton is rejecting suggestions that the Obama administration has been timid in its response to the Libyan bloodshed, and said that “everything will be on the table” in discussions at the United Nations and elsewhere about how to curb government violence in Libya.

At a joint press event after talks with her Brazilian counterpart, Clinton said the United States has made it absolutely clear that it condemns the violence against Libyan protestors.

She suggested that given limited U.S. leverage with Libya, a response to the crisis must be international, through, among other things, the U.N. Security Council and  the  U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneve.

The State Department said earlier Wednesday it is looking at imposing sanctions against Libya while also voicing at least some easing of concern about U.S. citizens caught up in the Libyan crisis.

Clinton said in forging a response to the bloodshed, the safety of Americans still in Libya remains the top priority.

“Everything will be on the table," said Hillary Clinton. "We will look at all the possible options to try to bring an end to the violence, to try to influence the government. But as I said yesterday, in any situation our foremost concern has to be for the safety and security of our own citizens, just as the foreign minister’s concern has to be for the safety and security of Brazilian citizens. And we are encouraging Americans to leave Libya.”

Foreign Minister Patriota, whose country is involved in several energy and infrastructure projects in Libya, expressed relief that violence has not been directed against foreigners, and said Brazil’s concern about the situation is no less than Washington’s.

“What to us is a very worrying element here is the use of force against unarmed protestors," said Patriota. "Otherwise, we see the manifestations in North Africa and the Arab world as a movement that can only elicit solidarity from the Brazilian people in as much as it is a movement for better governance, more participation in decision-making, more job opportunity, a better future for the youth of these countries.”

After expressing concern earlier that Libya had barred the departure of Americans, the State Department Wednesday said Libyan authorities had been cooperative in helping American and other foreign nationals board a chartered ferry in Tripoli bound for Malta.

Officials here said they believed most of the roughly 35 U.S. embassy dependents and non-essential employees ordered evacuated Monday had boarded the ferry.

The State Department estimates that several thousand U.S. citizens reside in Libya. Most hold dual citizenship with about 600 carrying U.S. passports only and many of them working for oil companies.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Pakistan Among Developing Counties Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

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.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

VOA Blogs