U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has advocated that NATO uphold unity in its resolve to pressure Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi into stepping down.
NATO officials are meeting in Berlin, Germany to discuss its ongoing military campaign in Libya, which has yet to decisively weaken Gaddafi’s government or military forces.
As our mission continues, maintaining our resolve and unity only grows more important, Clinton said in prepared remarks to a NATO. Gaddafi is testing our determination.
Clinton said progress is being made against Gaddafi, citing that the coalition is escalating the pressure and deepening the isolation of the Gaddafi regime. She also called for measures to sharpen the choices facing those around [Gaddafi].
We need to tighten the squeeze on Gaddafi's inner circle through asset freezes, travel bans and other penalties,” she said.
“We need to work with Libya's neighbors to aggressively enforce the arms embargo so that Gaddafi cannot resupply his forces.
Gaddafi, despite the fact that the Obama administration turned over command of the Libyan mission to NAYO last month.
The U.S. is committed to our shared mission. We will strongly support the coalition until our work is completed, she said.
However, there are apparently signs of discord within the alliance. Officials from France and Britain have demanded that NATO increase its air strikes in Libya; while Germany and Belgium are very unwilling to begin providing arms to Libyan rebel groups.
Also, Clinton reiterated her plea for Gaddafi to step down and also expressed concerns about atrocities reportedly being committed by Gaddafi’s troops in the siege of Misrata.
Gaddafi knows what he must do. As long as he does not comply with these demands, NATO will strike his forces inside these areas, she said. “We must see Gaddafi go. Only then can a viable transition move forward. We are taking actions to respond [to reports of atrocities in Misrata], and those responsible will be held accountable.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the group’s foreign ministers have endorsed a statement calling for Qaddafi to step down.