News / Middle East

White House Defends US Response to Libya Unrest

U.S. President Barack Obama with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (right) speaks about Libya at the White House,. February 23, 2011
U.S. President Barack Obama with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (right) speaks about Libya at the White House,. February 23, 2011

President Barack Obama’s spokesman denied Tuesday that the United States is moving too slowly in responding to the violence in Libya.  

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said events in Libya are moving with remarkable speed and that the Obama administration is responding at the same pace.

“Would anyone have predicted, two weeks ago or three weeks ago, that Colonel [Moammar] Gadhafi would be in this position that he is in now - where great swaths of the country are no longer in the control of his regime, where the entire international community, including Arab nations, have arrayed against him and called him illegitimate and not credible as a leader,” he asked.

Carney told reporters that the United States has done “quite a lot” unilaterally and is working with partners such as the European Union and the United Nations to respond to the violence in Libya.

The White House spokesman said the U.S. sanctions, ordered last Friday, already have led to $30 billion in Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s money being frozen.

When asked about U.S. warships being moved up the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean Sea, Carney said Washington is preparing for contingencies, including humanitarian assistance.  He said the administration is not ruling out any options.

Carney did not say whether or when President Obama might deliver a speech focusing on the Middle East unrest.  He did, however, say that the president might address the situation on Thursday, when he and visiting Mexican President Felipe Calderon speak to reporters at the White House.

“There are many ways that the president can, has and will address what has been happening in the Middle East," he said.  "He has spoken now, I believe, four times on this issue, and will speak again on this issue.  In fact, I believe he will speak on it - Is it Thursday that the president of Mexico will be here? You may hear from him on that day about this.”

Carney also responded to statements by Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh that the Obama administration is working with Israel to destabilize the Arab world.  

“We have made clear to the leadership in Yemen, as we have to the leadership in other countries, that they need to focus on the political reforms that they need to implement to respond to the legitimate aspirations of their people," he said.  "We do not think scapegoating will be the kind of response that the people of Yemen or the people in other countries will find adequate.”

Mr. Obama’s spokesman also said it is clear that the Mideast unrest is not inspired by al-Qaida, as some leaders in the region have charged ...

". . . but is, in fact, demonstrative of a movement within this region of the world that is wholly counter to everything that al-Qaida believes in, and to the methods by which they believe change should come about - peaceful, nonviolent, pluralistic, nonsectarian demonstrations," he said.  "That is not in the al-Qaida manual.”

Carney said the United States is reaching out to those in Libya’s opposition who are interested in creating a government that respects rights and meets the aspirations of the people.  He said U.S. officials are using diplomatic and business channels as well as non-governmental organizations to hold these discussions.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid