President Obama on Monday sought European support to further “tighten the noose” around Libya’s Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, promising to continue exploring options that can gain international support and end Qaddafi’s brutal crackdown on rebels.
The president’s comments came after an Oval Office meeting with Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, whom Obama called a leading voice in Europe for tough sanctions against the Libyan strongman.
“We both share the view that Mr. Qaddafi has lost legitimacy, and he needs to leave, and that we as an international community have to speak firmly against any violence that’s directed at civilians,” Obama said.
He added, “It’s going to be very important for us to look at a wide range of options that continue to tighten the noose around Mr. Qaddafi and apply additional pressure.” To that end, the president said, “we will be continuing to coordinate closely, both through NATO as well as the United Nations and other international fora, to look at every single option that’s available to us in bringing about a better outcome for the Libyan people.”
Rasmussen said that Europe has been trying to send “a very strong signal to Qaddafi: He should be history. He has lost his legitimacy.... And I think it’s important that the international society examine all options to protect the Libyan people.”