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Diplomacy in Action

Comments on Rebel Efforts to Oust Gadhafi

Jeffrey D. Feltman
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Benghazi, Libya
May 24, 2011


AP soundbites:

Assistant Secretary Feltman (May 24): "It's a pleasure to be in Benghazi today. You know, I've been to Libya several times, but never before in Benghazi, and certainly never before in the historic times that we're witnessing today. The people in the United States, and indeed across the world, are inspired by the Libyans' courage and efforts to build a unified, democratic Libya that respects the rights of all of its citizens."

"As we have said many times, and as President Obama emphasized in his oral message from yesterday, in attacking, threatening and brutally suppressing the Libyan people Colonel Gadhafi has lost legitimacy to rule. He cannot regain control of Libya, and he must step down immediately, thereby allowing the Libyan people to determine their own future."

"I deliver on behalf of President Obama a formal invitation for the council to establish a representative office in Washington DC. This step marks an important milestone in our relationship with the Transitional National Council and we are pleased that they have accepted the offer."

"We've given today 53.5 (m) million (US) dollars to address the humanitarian crisis that stems from Gadhafi's attack on his people. This is to international partners who are working in part inside Libya and in part with the refugees who are in Tunisia and Egypt. So, it's addressing refugee needs outside Libya's borders, it's addressing the needs of the people of Misrata and others, it's through international partners. It's 53.5 (m) million dollars so far. President Obama also announced several weeks ago the provision of 25 (m) million (US) dollars of non-lethal military supplies and services. Some of that has already come in the form of halal food rations, and there'll be more coming in June."

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