ABC News’ Kirit Radia reports: Asked what it will take for the United States to take a tougher stance on Libya, where the government has instituted a brutal crackdown against protestors seeking its ouster, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended the Obama administration’s actions so far.
“The United States, starting with what the president said on Friday, what I reiterated yesterday, have made it absolutely clear that we strongly condemn the violence in Libya, that we have called for an end to violence against protesters and those who are seeking the rights that are due to any people anywhere. And we deeply regret the loss of life that has already occurred,” she said at a press conference following a meeting with her Brazilian counterpart.
She told reporters that all options are still on the table.
“We will look at all the possible options to try to bring an end to the violence, to try to influence the government,” she said.
To that end, Clinton said the US wants to coordinate with international partners in creating a unified response to the violence, in large part because, she said, other countries have more leverage with Libya than the United States.
“There are many countries that have much closer relations with Libya than we do, as you know. We haven’t had those relations for many years to the extent that we have the kind of influence that other countries might be able to exercise now,” she said, referencing possible action at the United Nations Security Council and at the Human Rights Council.
“We have to get the international community together, because there is no doubt in my mind that this is now the moment for the international community to act together,” she said.
“We are joining with the rest of the world in sending a clear message to the Libyan government that violence is unacceptable and that the Libyan government will be held accountable for the actions that it is taking,” Clinton added.
Clinton also urged Americans to leave Libya if they can.
“In any situation our foremost concern has to be for the safety and security of our own citizens,” she said. “We urge Americans to depart immediately. If they need help, they should contact the embassy or go to our Bureau of Consular Affairs website for information.”
Earthquake in Christchurch
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
February 22, 2011
I am deeply saddened by the news that a second major earthquake in 6 months has struck Christchurch. On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send our sincere condolences and sympathy to the people of New Zealand.
When the earthquake struck, American and Kiwi officials were in the middle of a meeting in Christchurch, discussing plans to further develop and expand the broad partnership between our nations.
The United States stands ready to provide assistance to the government of New Zealand and to the brave people of Christchurch. Our long history of friendship and mutual support in times of need is an example of our enduring bond.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, especially the families of the victims, and with all the people of New Zealand.