Obama promises US aid for post-Gaddafi Libya

US president urges rebels poised to depose Libyan leader to not seek justice through violent reprisals.

By REUTERS
August 22, 2011 21:56
2 minute read.
US President Barack Obama delivers statement

Obama making speech 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

 
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US President Barack Obama said on Monday the United States would be a friend and partner to Libya, but urged rebels poised to depose Muammar Gaddafi to not seek justice through violent reprisals.

"The Gaddafi regime is coming to an end and the future of Libya is in the hands of its people," Obama said in a statement to reporters on the farm where he is on vacation.

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The likely end of Gaddafi's rule is a lesson for leaders in the Middle East who ignore the demands of their people for change, Turkey said on Monday.

"What is happening in Libya is a lesson for the leaders of the region. It shows that leaders who do not listen to their people cannot stay in power," state TV TRT reported Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as saying, without mentioning any other country.

Russia also issued a statement on Monday saying it hopes the seizure of power by rebels will end Libya's bloodshed and warned against foreign interference in the internal affairs of the north African state.

"The dramatic turn of events in the Libyan conflict bears witness, by all signs, to a shift of power into the hands of the rebels very soon," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "We hope that this will bring an end to the drawn-out bloodshed between Libyans, which has brought so much misfortune and suffering to the population of the country and caused serious damage to its economy."

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Turkey and Russia were the latest countries to issue a statement on developments in Libya that saw rebels enter and take control of most of the capital, with some calling on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to step down voluntarily and others demanding he be tried in the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi urged Mummar Gaddafi on Monday to end "useless resistance" and called on rebels who have swept into Tripoli to avoid reprisals.

"We ask Colonel Gaddafi to stop all useless resistance so as to save his people from further suffering," Berlusconi said in a statement.

Australia also called for Gaddafi to step down and said he should face an international court for human rights crimes as his 41-year regime neared collapse.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said it was clear rebel forces were finally about to take control of the country as Libyans took to the streets of the capital to celebrate the end of Gaddafi's iron-fisted rule.

"We continue to call on Colonel Gaddafi to get out of the way and of course we believe he should face the international charges that are against him," Gillard told reporters at parliament in Canberra.

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