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Obama Calls on Qaddafi to Step Down Obama Calls on Qaddafi to Step Down

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NS Special Section / Foreign Affairs

Obama Calls on Qaddafi to Step Down

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi exits after addressing the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters on September 23, 2009 in New York City. This is the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly featuring leaders from over 120 countries. (Photo by Rick Gershon/Getty Images)

February 26, 2011

For the first time, President Obama called on Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddaffi to step down on Saturday, according to news reports.

During a private phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama said Qaddafi’s departure was necessary because the violence that Qaddafi resorted to in Libya invalidated any legitimacy he might lay claim to, according to the Associated Press.

The first signs of tough talk from the United States toward Libya began in earnest on Friday, when the White House ordered the freeze of Qaddafi’s and his family members’ assets. It is not clear yet what effect the sanction could be having on Qaddafi. What is clear is that his four-decade-old regime appears to be teetering on the brink of violent dissolution.

 

Other media reports, including amateur videos posted on the Internet, have shown violent crackdowns against the Libyan people. It is believe Qaddafi has hired  mercenaries to carry out the raids against the citizens of Tripoli, in the west of the country. The eastern part of the country, including the country’s second largest city, Benghazi, has been free of Qaddafi’s control for days.

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