The US and the EU have again called on the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to step down.
No Agreement On What To Do Next
But the two bodies do not agree on what the next steps should be.
President Barack Obama said the US would take a wide range of actions to ensure Colonal Gaddafi surrendered power.
President Obama Speaks
He said the world had an obligation to prevent any massacre of civilians in Libya similar to those that took place in Rwanda and Bosnia during the 1990s. And he added that “we are slowly tightening the noose around Gaddafi” and “the bottom line is that I have not taken any options off the table at this point”.
From the BBC:
EU leaders meeting in Brussels agreed to “examine all necessary options” to protect the civilian population in Libya.
But what those necessary option should be was still a point of disagreement.
For one thing, they made no mention of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya in their final communique.
British and French leaders had wanted leaders of the European Union’s 27 member states to draw up plans to prepare to help the Libyan rebellion, including the possibility of a no-fly zone.
This would prevent pro-Gaddafi troops launching attacks from the air – currently the primary advantage the regime’s troops have as they push back the rebel forces.
The rebels had captured many eastern towns in recent weeks in an uprising that followed protests inspired by the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.
But many other EU leaders were not keen on the idea of a no-fly zone.
President Obama suggested all options were on the table.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “fundamentally sceptical” about military intervention in Libya in general and about no-fly zones in particular.
The final communique did not mention a no-fly zone, although it also did not rule it out.
“In order to protect the civilian population, member states will examine all necessary options, provided that there is a demonstrable need, a clear legal basis and support from the region,” the communique says.
France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy said nobody wanted military intervention but “it is clear that Europne is sending a message and did not want to exclude this option.”
But this would only happen, he said, with the support of the UN Security Council, the Arab League and the Libyan (rebel) authorities.
British Prime Minister Speaks Out
We continue to be appalled by the levels of violence in Libya and to call on Gaddafi to leave and his regime to end the violence against their own people,’ British Foreign Minister William Hague said.
But Can They Agree On One Action?
And so the discussion continues, while civilians continue to die in Libya.
photo from iStock