Obama Says World Acting on Libya

Published on Saturday 19th March 2011

President Obama has spoken about support for international action to prevent Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from killing civilians and to enforce a no-fly zone and U.N. Security Council resolution approved last week.  While enforcing the no fly zone near Benghazi, Libya, French warplanes have fired on and destroyed at least four Libyan tanks.

The beginning of the enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya by French aircraft against Gadhafi forces came in the first hours of the president's visit to Brazil.Mr. Obama's advisers briefed him on the enforcement of a no-fly zone around the rebel held city of Benghazai where rebel forces have tried to resist Libyan government advances.Though he did not specifically mention the enforcement action by French jets,  Mr. Obama said the world is acting to implement last week's U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing all measures be taken to protect Libyan civilians.“Our consensus was strong and our resolve is clear, the people of Libya must be protected and in the absence of an immediate end to the violence against civilians, are coalition is prepared to act, and act with urgency and I am briefing Rousseff on steps we are taking," he said.The remarks followed a statement earlier in Paris by French President Nicolas Sarkozy who said French aircraft had begun enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya. Libyan government troops had earlier threated rebel control of Benghazi in defiance of international demands and ignoring an earlier ceasefire proclamation.Here in Brazil, President Obama reiterated that U.S. troops would not be involved in any ground action in Libya.     Speaking in Paris shortly after the president's remarks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. will use all its capabilities to help European and other partners in implementing the no-fly zone in Libyan skies."The world will not sit idly by while more innocent civilians are killed.  The U.S will support our allies and partners as they move to enforce [U.N.] resolution 19-73.  We are standing with the people of Libya and we will not waiver in our efforts to protect them," she said.In a letter to President Obama, the Libyan leader said the president would “regret” what he called intervention in the internal affairs of Libya calling it “aggression” that would have uncalculated consequences.The Libyan leader also wrote separate letters to other world leaders, including President Sarkozy, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who met in Paris on Saturday with Secretary Clinton and other leaders.


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