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Diplomacy in Action

Remarks on the Situation in Libya

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, U.S. Mission to the United Nations
Security Council Stakeout
New York City
March 16, 2011


Reuters Soundbites:

UN Ambassador Rice (Mar. 16): "Good evening everybody. We've had yet another long day of negotiations on very serious text that would deal in a concrete and we believe meaningful way with the situation on the ground in Libya. The United States has been playing a very active and very engaged role in leading this process inside the Council, along with colleagues from Britain and Lebanon and France and we are interested in a broad range of actions that will effectively protect civilians and increase the pressure on the Gaddafi regime to halt the killing and to allow the Libyan people to express themselves and their aspirations for the future, freely and peacefully. We will continue our negotiations early tomorrow, fully focused on the urgency and the gravity of the situation on the ground and it's my hope that we may be in a position to vote a serious resolution as early as tomorrow. We're working very hard toward that end."

"We're discussing very seriously and leading efforts in the Council around a range of actions that we believe could be effective in protecting civilians -- these include discussion of a no-fly zone, but the U.S. view is that we need to be prepared to contemplate steps that include, but perhaps go beyond a no-fly zone, at this point, as the situation on the ground has evolved and as a no-fly zone has inherent limitations in terms of protection of civilians at immediate risk."

"There was not a majority in the Council that was ready to talk about a ceasefire that wasn't accompanied by enforcement action. The bulk of the members of the Council were focused on a very substantial and detailed text that would have gone beyond calls for ceasefire which in fact were already embedded in (resolution) 1970, but that would in fact entail the Council taking meaningful action, swiftly."

"Most members of the Council were focused on the importance of the Council taking swift and meaningful action to try to halt the killing on the ground. Thank you." Full Text»

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