Clinton talks of helping Libyans organise ‘post-Gaddafi’ era

2011-02-28 08:25

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived late yesterday in Geneva ahead of a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council where she said she would discuss with fellow diplomats how to help the Libyan people in a post-Gaddafi era.

“I will be meeting with many of my counterparts from Europe and beyond... and thinking through how we can respond to the needs of the Libyan people, not only in a humanitarian way but in a political and civil response as they’re trying to sort through how they’re going to organise themselves post-Gaddafi ,” she told reporters on the flight to Geneva.

Clinton is expected to meet today with several top diplomats from Europe and Arab nations to give political backing to UN sanctions against the regime of strongman Muammar Gaddafi , before attending the session of the Human Rights Council.

Earlier yesterday she said the United States was prepared to offer “any kind of assistance” to Libyans seeking to overthrow Gaddafi.

“I think it is way to soon to tell how this is going to play out; we are going to be ready and prepared to offer any kind of assistance that anyone wishes to have from the US,” she said.

She also called on the Libyan regime to “call off the mercenaries,” referring to the government-hired troops said to be mowing down Libyans by the hundreds in a bid to prop up the government.

“We are just at the beginning of what will follow Gaddafi,” Clinton said.

“First we have to see the end of his regime and with no further bloodshed,” she continued, noting Washington is eager for his ousting “as soon as possible.”

“We want him to leave.”

Clinton’s remarks came a day after US President Barack Obama called on embattled Gaddafi to “leave now,” as his country teetered on civil war, saying the Libyan leader had lost his right to rule after attacking his own people to put down a popular uprising.

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