Washington: Two powerful US senators have
introduced a resolution in the Congress urging President Barack Obama to immediately recognise the Libyan opposition -
Transitional National Council - fighting against the regime of
In the resolution, they also urged Obama to support a
proposed no-fly zone over Libya to protect the rebels.
"The President should recognise Libya`s Transitional
National Council, which is based in Benghazi but
representative of communities across the country, as the sole
legitimate governing authority in Libya just as the
government of France has done," said Senator John McCain, who
co-authored the resolution with Senator Joseph Lieberman.
"Gaddafi has forfeited the right to power through his
vicious actions; we must recognize the opposition government,"
he argued, demanding that Obama should take immediate steps to
implement a no-fly zone in Libya with international support.
"Not only has the Libyan opposition government itself
called for this. The Gulf Cooperation Council has called a
no-fly zone. The head of the Organisation of the Islamic
Conference has called for a no-fly zone.
And on Saturday, the Arab League called for a no-fly
zone. The French and British governments have voiced their support and have drafted a UN Security Council resolution to implement a no-fly zone," he noted.
"It is long past time for the President to answer
these calls for international leadership. A no-fly zone was
never going to be the decisive action that tipped the balance
against Gaddafi, even when Senator Lieberman and I called for
it nearly three weeks ago," McCain said.
"It remains the case that a no-fly zone would take one
of Gaddafi`s most lethal tools off the table, and thereby
boost the confidence of Libya`s opposition. It is Libyans
themselves who want to do the fighting against Gaddafi, but
they want it to be a fair fight. So should we," he said.
McCain said Obama should develop and implement a
comprehensive strategy to accomplish the stated US objective
of Gaddafi leaving power.
"Beyond a no-fly zone, and beyond those actions like
sanctions and humanitarian assistance that we are already
taking, there are many actions that we could consider ? from
sharing intelligence on Gaddafi`s forces with the opposition,
to providing them with support for command and control, to
technical assistance and even forms of security assistance if
they request it, and if we can provide it in a responsible
way," he argued.
McCain asserted that if Gaddafi is allowed to prevail
in Libya and crush his opponents, it will send a signal
throughout the region that force is the way to respond to
peaceful demands for a better life and it will cause all of
our expressions of support for the universal rights of all
people to ring far hollower.