United States President Barak Obama condemned embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi Friday, warning that the U.S. will take military action if Gadhafi does not comply with the terms iterated in the UN Security Council resolution passed Thursday.
Obama made it clear that the terms of the resolution are not negotiable, saying "if Gadhafi does not comply with the resolution, the international community will impose consequences, and the resolution will be enforced through military action."
The U.S. president called on Gadhafi to implement a complete cease-fire immediately, saying that this means "all attacks against civilians must stop. Gadhafi must stop his troops from advancing on Benghazi; pull them back from Adjadbiya, Misrata and Zawiyah."
He also called on the Libyan leader to reestablish water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas and allow humanitarian assistance to reach the people of
Obama's statement came in the wake of a Libyan declaration of cease-fire Friday, prompted by the UN resolution passed the day before calling for a no-fly zone over Libya and possible military intervention in the event that Gadhafi does not cease the month-long violent crackdown on Libyan rebels.
World leaders were skeptical about the sincerity of the Libyan cease-fire, with U.S. Secretary of State saying earlier Friday that the U.S. is "not responsive or impressed by words, we would have to see actions on the ground and that is not yet at all clear."
In Obama's statement, he stressed the importance of international cooperation in the intervention in Libya. "American leadership is essential," Obama said, "but that does not mean acting alone. It means shaping the conditions for the international community to act together."
The U.S. president lamented Gadhafi's capacity to intensify crackdowns on protesters, predicting the possibility of a humanitarian crisis should world powers not intervene.
Obama clarified that the U.S. will not be deploying ground troops in Libya, nor will they use force in any way other than to protect Libyan civilians.
He committed to sending humanitarian and economic aid to the Libyan people so they can fulfill their aspirations peacefully.
Obama added that the U.S. is acting solely in the interest of the Libyan people, without an ulterior American agenda. "Our decisions have been driven by Gadhafi's refusal to respect the rights of his people and the potential for mass murder of innocent civilians," he said.
He concluded, once again calling for international cooperation and the enforcement of international law, voicing American support of "universal values, and our support for the political and economic change that the people of the [Arab] region deserve."
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