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Military action against Libya a premature talk: US diplomat

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 12:37

Washington: A top US diplomat has said
military action against Libya, which is witnessing mass
anti-government protests against longtime ruler Muammar
al-Gaddafi, is a "premature" talk, but did not rule out the
option altogether.
"I think it’s, frankly, quite premature to speculate
about any potential military action. We’re simply in the
process of planning and discussing various contingencies," US
Ambassador to UN Susan Rice told reporters at the White House.

"We are in discussions with partners and allies in
NATO and elsewhere. We have been very clear that we have a
range of options, a wide range of options that we’re
considering, but it would be premature to say more than that,"
she said.

Rice said US is in communication with the elements of
Libyan society -- civil society, leaders of all sorts -- to
understand their perspectives and be able to be supportive to
their aspiration for freedom and justice.

"It`s unclear at this point who will emerge as the
critical opposition elements, and we await to see how the
opposition will coalesce. In that context, it?s certainly
premature I think to begin to talk about any kind of military
assistance," she said.
"It sounds, just frankly, delusional," Rice said when
asked about Gaddafi’s interview to the international media
that he has never used force, and all his people love him.

"When he can laugh in talking to American and
international journalists while he is slaughtering his own
people, it only underscores how unfit he is to lead and how
disconnected he is from reality.

"It makes all the more important the urgent steps that
we have taken over the course of the last week on a national
basis, as well as the steps that we?ve taken collectively
through the United Nations and the Security Council," she

Rice said it is up to the Libyan people to decide on
their leader.

"We will continue to be very supportive of their
efforts to achieve the universal rights and the freedoms and
the opportunity that they are seeking," she said.

"I think we have been very, very clear about what is
right and what is moral in this situation, and what has been
unacceptable and inexcusable violence. And we have taken very
strong and very swift actions to confront that," she added.


First Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 12:37

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