Obama: Gaddafi lost legitimacy to lead, 'he must leave'

US president says he has approved use of US military aircraft to pick up Egyptians on Libya-Tunisia border.

March 3, 2011 20:42
1 minute read.
President Obama

Obama 311 reuters. (photo credit: Reuters)

US President Barack Obama on Thursday called on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to leave power and said he has approved the use of US military aircraft to pick up Egyptians on the Libya-Tunisia border.

At a White House news conference, Obama said Gaddafi has lost the legitimacy to lead and "he must leave."

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Obama also said he had approved the use of US military planes to help move Egyptians who fled to the Libya-Tunisia border to get home.

Obama's comments came as the Libyan government accepted a plan by Venezuela to seek a negotiated solution to the conflict in the North African country, a spokesman for President Hugo Chavez said on Thursday.

Information Minister Andres Izarra also confirmed the Arab League had shown interest in the Chavez plan to send an international commission to talk with both sides in Libya.

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Earlier on Thursday, France and Britain told Gaddafi they would press for the imposition of a no-fly zone if attacks against his country's citizens continued.

Meanwhile, Gaddafi, members of his inner circle, and some of his sons, will be investigated by the International Criminal Court for "serious allegations" of crimes against the civilian population in Libya, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Thursday.

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