US wants Gaddafi to leave power: Clinton

Amid a ceasefire announced by pro-government forces fighting rebels in Libya, the US said it will continue to work with the global community to press Muammar Gaddafi to "leave" power.

Updated: Mar 18, 2011, 23:39 PM IST

Washington: Amid a ceasefire announced
by pro-government forces fighting rebels in Libya, the US on Friday said it will continue to work with the global community
to press Muammar Gaddafi to "leave" power, and it supports the
"legitimate aspirations" of the Libyan people.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the US
and its international partners are not going to be responsive
or impressed by words of Gaddafi Government in Libya and wants
him to stop attacking his own people.

"We`ve seen press reports of a cease-fire by the
Libyan government. This is a fluid and dynamic situation.

We are going to be not responsive or impressed by
words," Clinton told reporters at a joint press availability
with the visiting Irish Deputy Prime Minister.

"We would have to see actions on the ground, and
that is not yet at all clear. We will continue to work with
our partners in the international community to press Gadhafi
to leave, and to support the legitimate aspirations of the
Libyan people," Clinton said.

Caving in to international pressure, Libya today
announced an immediate ceasefire in the month-long battle
against rebels fighting to overthrow Gaddafi, hours after UN
authorised military action to curb him and imposing a no-fly
zone over the strife-torn country.

Clinton said the diplomatic effort that was required
to answer questions and create a level of cooperation, as
represented by the resolution, was very intense in the last
weeks.

The overwhelming vote by the Security Council
reflects a broad understanding that stop the violence, and
believes that a final result of any negotiations would have to
be the decision by Colonel Gadhafi to leave.

"I want to take this one step at a time. We don`t
know what the final outcome will be. The first and
overwhelmingly urgent action is to end the violence.

And we have to see a very clear set of decisions that
are operationalzed on the ground by Gadhafi`s forces to move
physically a significant distance away from the east, where
they have been pursuing their campaign against the
opposition," she said.

Clinton said there will have to be an accounting of
what has already occurred.

"There are many stories of massacres, abductions.
Until we can have a better idea of what actually happened,
it`s hard to know what the next steps will be," she said.

US Secretary-General appointed a special
representative, a former Jordanian foreign minister.

"We will obviously want to have the international
community involved in any kind of dialogue with the opposition
and with the Gaddafi regime," she said.

Noting that the United States is very pleased with
Thursday`s UN Security Council vote on Libya, she said this
sends a strong message that needs to be heeded.

"The efforts by the international community to come
together, to make clear to Gaddafi that he cannot continue his
violence against his own people.

He cannot continue to attack those who started out by
peacefully demonstrating for changes that are within the right
of any human being to do so, and the fact that he now has
received not just the message of those of us who have been
calling for him to end and the fact the he has lost his
legitimacy but the Arab League and the statement that they
called for with respect to the resolution," Clinton said.

PTI