Obama: Gaddafi facing action unless violence stops

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 21, 2011 3:53 PM
Obama: Gaddafi facing action unless violence stops

BRASILIA (Reuters) - President Barack Obama warned Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Saturday that the international community would act with urgency to shield Libyan rebels from his aggression unless the violence stopped.

"The international community demanded an immediate ceasefire in Libya, including an end to all attacks against civilians," Obama said during an appearance with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

"Our consensus was strong and our resolve is clear. The people of Libya must be protected and in the absence of an immediate end to the violence against civilians, our coalition is prepared to act and act with urgency," he said.

Obama, at the start of a five-day Latin American tour, said he had briefed Rousseff on the steps being taken against Gaddafi and said that "as a member of the human rights council, Brazil joined with us in condemning human rights abuses by Libya."

Brazil abstained during a United Nations Security Council vote earlier this week authorizing military action to protect Libyan civilians.

Obama made his remarks shortly before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began speaking in Paris after a meeting with other members of the international coalition pressing to halt attacks by Gaddafi's forces.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick, writing by Alister Bull and Patricia Zengerle, editing by Doina Chiacu)