US, allies pressure Gadhafi to halt Libya violence

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 25, 2011 04:33

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration threw its weight Thursday behind a European effort to expel Libya from the United Nations' top human rights body and said it was readying a larger sanctions package against Muammar Gaddafi's regime that it will take up with allies in the coming days.

US President Barack Obama was consulting with the leaders of Britain and France, while officials said US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would help coordinate the larger international strategy to stop the violence in Libya at a meeting of foreign policy chiefs next week in Switzerland.

As an initial punishment for Libya's violent attacks on protesters, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the United States is backing a European proposal for the UN Human Rights Council to recommend Libya's expulsion.

Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss administration planning also said the US would support efforts to establish a UN-led probe into "gross and systematic violations of human rights by the Libyan authorities."


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