US presses for tough action against Libya

US Secretary Hillary Clinton on Tuesday asked its European allies to adopt a concerted actions against Libyan leader Moammar el-Gaddafi`s government for its worst human rights violations against its own people.

Last Updated: Mar 01, 2011, 11:15 AM IST

Geneva: US Secretary Hillary Clinton
on Tuesday asked its European allies to adopt a concerted actions
against Libyan leader Moammar el-Gaddafi`s government for its
worst human rights violations against its own people while
nations appeared divided over the proposal for a possible
no-fly zone over the country.

Col Gadhafi lost the "legitimacy to govern and it
is time to go without further violence or delay" Clinton said,
after participating in a string of high-profile meetings to
prepare common strategy for post-Gaddafi administration.
She said the Security Council`s decision on Libya was
a significant decision because it would impose an arms embargo
on Libya and freeze the assets of key human right violators
and other members of the Gaddafi government.

The United States, she said, has imposed additional
sanctions of its own, suggesting that Washington and the
European governments will "adopt a concerted actions against
Tripoli".

Secretary Clinton said there is going to be a
"robust" response in terms of humanitarian response.

The US held negotiations with the P5 (the US,
Britain, France, China, and Russia) and Germany to discuss
various options about the growing instability in the region.

"Nothing is off the table as the Libyan government
continues to kill Libyan civilians," she said.
In a day marked with several interventions at the
human rights council, it is very clear that there is a united
international response to prepare the ground for post-Gaddafi
administration, sources said.

The European Union`s foreign policy chief Catherine
Ashton announced that the bloc would impose restrictions on
Libya very soon, noting that violent repression in the north
African country "shocks our conscience."

"We are already working on EU restrictive measures
that should come into force quickly," she told the UN Human
Rights Council, adding that the EU would meet later Monday to
implement UN sanctions.

"Together with that we will adopt additional
accompanying measures such as an embargo on equipment which
might be used for internal repression and we`re looking at
individuals under the travel restrictions and the assets
freeze," she added on the sidelines of the session.

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd voiced his
support for the plan, but Lavrov, when asked whether a no-fly
zone over Libya had been discussed with Clinton, said:
"Absolutely not. It was not mentioned by anyone."

The Russian envoy strongly condemned military force
against civilians as "unacceptable" in a speech to the rights
council, warning that its had caused "hundreds of civilian
deaths."

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay warned the
international community that it bore "great responsibility" to
swiftly support "in words and deeds" reforms in the Middle
East.

The council, the UN`s top rights assembly, decided in
a rare display of unanimity on Friday to launch an
investigation into "systematic violence" in Libya that could
amount to "crimes against humanity".

"The council should not relax its vigilance over
Libya as the threat of violent reprisals against civilians
still looms," Pillay told envoys and ministers at the
47-member council.

PTI