US says Qaddafi must go, as action against Libya quickens
Hillary Clinton says Muammar Qaddafi must leave office 'now, without further violence or delay.' Global pressure intensifies with talk of no-fly zone and court inquiry into alleged crimes.
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The Obama administration was criticized last week for what some human rights organizations and other critics said was slow action in response to the state-sponsored violence in Libya that began two weeks ago. The administration countered that it had moved cautiously while American citizens were still in Libya and potentially in danger of reprisal from the famously mercurial Colonel Qaddafi.Skip to next paragraph
But Obama announced sanctions against Libya on Saturday, and the US supported the adoption of international sanctions Saturday in the UN Security Council. At the same time, the president began telling a number of foreign leaders he spoke with by telephone over the weekend that Qaddafi had lost his legitimacy.
Discussion of a no-fly zone over Libya was addressed publicly by both American and European officials, but it was not clear that the idea was addressed more broadly in Clinton’s meetings with international partners Monday.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said in comments to the House of Commons that he had directed the Defense Ministry “to work with our allies on plans for a military no-fly zone.”
But on the sidelines of the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists that “no one” had broached the subject with him. That suggested that Western allies might be considering NATO for imposing a no-fly zone.
Both Russia and China – usually cautious about international actions that might be construed as intervention in a sovereign government’s affairs – went along with imposing sanctions on Libya in the Security Council Saturday, as well as with referring Qaddafi to the ICC. But UN diplomats and analysts say they would expect Russia and China to stop there and to have to see renewed air attacks by the Libyan regime against its own people before approving a no-fly zone.