News / USA

Obama Calls for Gadhafi's Immediate Departure

Muammar Gadhafi (file photo)
Muammar Gadhafi (file photo)

President Obama is calling for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to step down immediately. The call came in a statement issued by the White House detailing a private phone conversation Mr. Obama had with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In his phone call with Chancellor Merkel, according to the White House statement, President Obama shared "deep concerns" about the Libyan government's continued violation of human rights and brutalization of its people.

He told Ms. Merkel that when a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule, and "needs to do what is right for his country by "leaving now."

It's the first time since the Libyan crisis began that President Obama has directly called for Gadhafi's departure, and its significance is magnified by the fact that it was issued in connection with a conversation with another major world leader.

Saturday's White House Statement also said President Obama and Chancellor Merkel discussed what it called appropriate and effective ways for the international community to respond.

They also reaffirmed their support for the Libyan people's demand for universal rights and a government that is responsive to their aspirations - and agreed that the Gadhafi government must be held accountable.

In a statement also issued Saturday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. is moving quickly on a series of steps to hold the Libyan government accountable and mobilize a strong international response.

Clinton said an order she signed revokes U.S. visas held by senior Gadhafi government officials, others responsible for human rights violations in Libya, and their immediate family members.

President Obama has already ordered unilateral sanctions against the Gadhafi government.  In an Executive Order on Friday, the president froze assets of and imposed financial sanctions on members of the Libyan regime responsible for abuses, and suspended limited defense trade with Libya.

In her Saturday statement, Secretary Clinton said Gadhafi had lost the legitimacy to rule and the confidence of his people, Clinton also called for the Libyan leader to leave "without further bloodshed and violence".

Clinton, who will travel to Geneva for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council, said the U.S. is working with friends and partners on a strong and unified response, adding she has continued close consultations with European allies.

In other developments, British Prime Minister David Cameron chaired an urgent government meeting in London on Saturday about Libya, and also spoke with Chancellor Merkel, as well as the leaders of Italy and Turkey.

A spokesman for Cameron said he and his counterparts agreed on the need for "urgent action" through the European Union and United Nations, including a tough package of sanctions.

Libyan leader Gadhafi told his supporters in Tripoli  that he would fight what he called "foreign aggression" and vowed to fight those trying to oust his government.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid