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28 Feb, 2011

World leaders' plea for Gaddafi resignation

Leaders of countries from all-over the globe are demanding Muammer Gaddafi to step down as Libya's leader, amid global intensifying efforts to end the country's bloodshed.

As the fights escalate near the Libyan capital, Tripoli, German chancellor Angela Merkel said that it is "high time" for Colonel Gaddafi to depart, and called for new UN Security Council sanctions as a sign of international resolve. Merkel's call was echoed by US President Barack Obama, as well as UK Prime Minister David Cameron citing Col Gaddafi should "go now", and adding that "There is no future for a Libya that includes him".

En route to meetings with other foreign ministers at the UN Human Rights Council in the Swiss city of Geneva, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said, "We are just at the beginning of what will follow Gaddafi", but first we have to see the end of his regime with no further violence and bloodshed, she added.

However, John McCain, the former Republican presidential candidate, called for Washington to do more, including setting up a no-fly zone. He warned that the repercussions of the Middle East revolution are costing hundreds of lives, as well as a global economic impact, as the world showcased a staggering high of crude oil price to nearly $120 a barrel last week. "The question is how many people are going to be massacred between now and when he leaves?", he said.

Moreover, the US and its allies shared a unanimous vote on Libya, which Ms Merkel hailed as "a clear signal to Gaddafi and other despots, that human rights violations will not go unpunished". The vote ordered all UN member states to freeze the assets of the Libyan leader, his daughter and four of his sons.  His children and another 10 key members of the regime are banned from travelling outside the country.

After 11 hours of negotiations on Saturday the council referred the crisis in Libya to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

In addition, the European Union is also expected to approve its own measures later today, which would take effect midweek.


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