Monday, February 21, 2011

Libya Alarms U.S.; Gadhafi Appears Briefly

Updated 10:30 p.m. est

The United Nations Security Council announced late tonight it will meet at 9 a.m. est Tuesday behind closed doors for "consultations" on the bloodshed in Libya.

The Security Council session was requested by Libya's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Omar Al Dabashi, who earlier told the BBC, AlJazeera English and other media outlets that Gadhafi was engaged in genocide of his own people.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned this evening the violent actions by the government of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, saying, "The world is watching the situation in Libya with alarm."

Gadhafi finally made a very brief appearance on Libyan TV tonight to dispute claims that he had left his country. "I'm not in France or Venezuela," Gadhafi said in an English translation provided by CNN. "I'm still here."

The United States was concerned about the extreme force Gadhafi has ordered to maintain his hold on power. Despite the unrest by Libyans who want Gadhafi to step down, all indications are that Gadhafi is not willing to go at this point.

"We join the international community in strongly condemning the violence in Libya. Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been lost, and with their loved ones. The government of Libya has a responsibility to respect the universal rights of the people, including the right to free expression and assembly,m": Clinton said.

"Now is the time to stop this unacceptable bloodshed. "We are working urgently with friends and partners around the world to convey this message to the Libyan government," she added.

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