US committed to NATO mission in Libya, Clinton says

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that the US was committed to the NATO-led mission in Libya, and urged new measures to pressurize Moamar Ghadafi's regime.

"New voices from inside and outside Libya have joined the calls for Ghadafi's departure," Clinton told a NATO meeting in Berlin. "For our part, the US is committed to our shared mission. We will strongly support the coalition until our work is completed."

The meeting in the German capital came after criticism of the NATO operation from Britain and France, which said more should be done to oust Ghadafi.

Clinton said the NATO-led partners should be proud of what had been achieved.

"As President Obama made clear, we must see Ghadafi go. Only then can a viable transition move forward," Clinton said.

Clinton said it was necessary to "tighten the squeeze" on Ghadafi and his regime.

"Together we must deepen Ghadafi's diplomatic, financial and military isolation and sharpen the choices facing those around him," she said. "We need to tighten the squeeze on Ghadafi's inner circle through asset freezes, travel bans and other penalties. We need to work with Libya's neighbors to aggressively enforce the arms embargo so that Ghadafi cannot resupply his forces."

On the ground in Libya, at least 13 people were killed and some 50 people were hurt Thursday in an attack by Ghadafi's forces on the port area of Libya's third city Misrata, the scene of fierce fighting for weeks, AFP reported.

[Source: New York Post, AFP, 14Apr11]

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