Friday, 15 April 2011


Leaders Pledge To Fight Until Gaddafi Goes

The leaders of Britain, the US and France have issued a joint statement saying Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi must go - for good. Skip related content
The British, American and French leaders warned it would be an "unconscionable betrayal" were Nato to cut and run with the dictator still in power.
Gaddafi must "go and go for good" before rebuilding of the country could begin, they said - dismissing calls for an immediate ceasefire.
The statement came after warplanes were again heard over Tripoli, accompanied by air raid sirens and loud explosions.
Earlier a defiant Gaddafi was seen on Libyan state television being driven around Tripoli in an open-top 4x4.
He was wearing a green safari hat, dark glasses and a black jacket - and could be seen pumping his fists in the air and waving.
The coalition leaders have demanded a genuine transition from "dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process".
However, as the military operation approaches the end of its first month there is little sign of a breakthrough on the ground, where rebels appear more than matched by forces loyal to Gaddafi.
Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen has appealed for more planes to conduct air strikes, with many member states unwilling to join the front line.
Although the US have officially stepped back from an active combat role, President Obama's involvement in the latest statement may quell speculation about the strength of his commitment.
In their statement - published in The Times, The Washington Post and Le Figaro - the leaders insisted: "It is unthinkable that someone who has tried to massacre his own people can play a part in their future Government.
"The brave citizens of those towns that have held out against forces that have been mercilessly targeting them would face a fearful vengeance if the world accepted such an arrangement. It would be an unconscionable betrayal."
The leaders added: "So long as Gaddafi is in power, Nato and its coalition partners must maintain their operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds...
"Britain, France and the United States will not rest until the UN Security Council resolutions have been implemented and the Libyan people can choose their own future."
Meanwhile, an EU decision to lift sanctions on Muammar Gaddafi's former right-hand man Musa Kusa has been condemned as "astonishing".
Mr Kusa, who made a high-profile defection to Britain last month, no longer faces travel restrictions or an asset freeze.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "Sanctions are introduced to invoke behavioural change and as Musa Kusa has chosen to leave the regime he is no longer sanctioned in this way."
The US lifted its sanctions against the ex-intelligence chief last week.
But Tory MP Robert Halfon, whose family fled Libya when Gaddafi took power, said: "I am astonished that the EU, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to give immunity from sanctions to an alleged war criminal."

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