Clinton: US 'reaching out' to Libyan opposition groups

US secretary of state heads to Geneva to consult with allies on next step to end crisis; Italian FM says end of Gaddafi's rule "inevitable."

By REUTERS
February 27, 2011 18:07
1 minute read.
Hillary Clinton

Clinton 311 reuters. (photo credit: Reuters)

WASHINGTON- US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday the United States was reaching out to Libyan opposition groups in the eastern part of the North African country.

"We are reaching out to many different Libyans in the east as the revolution moves westward there as well ... It is too soon to see how this is going to play out," Clinton told reporters.

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The US secretary of state, armed with new UN Security sanctions on Libya's embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi, headed for Geneva on Sunday to consult with allies on the next steps to end the country's crisis.

Clinton will meet with key European foreign ministers as well as Arab and African envoys in Geneva, where on Monday she will become the first US secretary of state to address the UN Human Rights Council.

US officials said Clinton's trip is aimed at coordinating the international response to Libya's crisis, with Washington insisting that the world "speak with one voice" on stemming the violence and bringing Gaddafi to justice.

Earlier on Sunday, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said that the end of Gaddafi's rule was "inevitable."

Italy has traditionally been Gaddafi's closest European ally.

Frattini said a friendship and cooperation treaty between Libya and Italy was "de facto suspended."

"We have reached, I believe, a point of no return," Frattini told Sky Italia television. Asked whether Gaddafi should leave power, he said: "It is inevitable for this to happen."

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