Clinton: Libya effort should not be US-led
Any action against Libya including a no- fly zone should be international and not be led from Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said early Wednesday, dpa reported.
In an interview with Britain's Sky News, Clinton said: "I think it's very important that this not be a US-led effort, because this comes from the people of Libya themselves."
"This doesn't come from the outside. This doesn't come from some Western power or some Gulf country saying this is what you should do, this is how you should live."
Her remarks were broadcast hours after US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron discussed the possible use of a no-fly zone in a phone call.
They also discussed the coordination of the international response and the humanitarian effort, and the need for Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi to leave power as "quickly as possible," the White House said.
Clinton said the US would like to see Gaddafi "go peacefully. We would like to see a new government come peacefully."
"But if that's not possible, then we're going to work with the international community."
US military leaders and Secretary of Defence Robert Gates have warned that any military intervention in Libya would be complex and difficult. NATO leaders are discussing possibilities and limitations on intervention later this week.
Obama is coming under increasing pressure from members of Congress, including Senator John Kerry, a fellow Democrat, to intervene in Libya to prevent Gaddafi from bombing civilian opposition forces.
Kerry has suggested "cratering" - or bombing - Libya's airfields to ground Gaddafi's air force.
US critics charge that Obama has not taken strong enough steps against Gaddafi, and summon the spectre of the 1994 Rwandan genocide when the international community stood to the side and failed to intervene. Defenders of Obama's cautious stance cite the two wars in Muslim countries that the US is already involved in - Afghanistan and Iraq.
France and Britain are reportedly working on a draft United Nations Security Council resolution for the imposition of a no-fly zone above Libya, where hundreds of people have been killed in an uprising against Gaddafi's regime.
Clinton was asked by Sky News if the US would consider lifting its arms embargo on Libya so rebels could be armed.
"I think everything is being looked at, but it is difficult in the midst of this civil conflict that is going on now to even know how you would do that, because right now, it's not clear what part of the country is actually under rebel control.
"We know the east is, but how much in the middle, and then we've got Gaddafi.
"So my only point is we are working really hard every day with the international community, and we were very pleased that the Gulf States and the Arab League, which before had not supported any kind of action, have now said that they could do so if the United Nations agrees," she said.
Gene Kretz, the first US ambassador to Libya since the 1970s, has met in Rome and Cairo with Libyan opposition figures, US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said Tuesday. US officials have talked and met with members of the opposition National Council.
He said US Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman had also talked in recent days with Libya's foreign minister.