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Explainer: World leaders on Libya

  • Image: World leaders
    Lionel Bonaventure  /  Pool via Reuters
    France's President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, right, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and France's Prime Minister Francois Fillon, left.

    World leaders gathered in Paris to discuss the course of action regarding Libya after the U.N. Security Council passed resolution 1973 that demands a cease-fire and a complete end to violence against civilians. Here what leaders had to say.

  • France

    Image: Paris Summit on Libya
    Lionel Bonaventure / Pool  /  EPA
    France president Nicolas Sarkozy.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy

    "It's a grave decision we've had to take. Along with our Arab, European and North American partners, France has decided to play its part before history.

    "This is why, in agreement with our partners, our air forces will counter any aggression by Colonel Gadhafi's aircraft against the population of Benghazi. As of now, our planes are preventing air attacks on the city of Benghazi. As of now, other French aircraft are ready to intervene against armored vehicles which threaten unarmed civilians.

    "Colonel Gadhafi has scorned our warnings. In the past few hours his forces have intensified their murderous offensive.

    "The Libyan people need our aid and support. It's our duty.

    "We are doing it to protect the civilian population from the murderous madness of a regime that in killing its own people has lost all legitimacy.

    "There is still time for Colonel Gadhafi to avoid the worst, by acting without delay and without reservations in accordance with all the demands of the international community. The door of international diplomacy will open again the moment attacks end."

  • Britain

    Image: France's President Sarkozy greets Britain's Prime Minister Cameron at the Elysee Palace ahead of wider international talks on Libya in Paris
    Gonzalo Fuentes  /  Reuters
    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron

    "Colonel Gadhafi has made this happen. He has lied to the international community, he has promised a cease-fire, he has broken that cease-fire.

    "He continues to brutalize his own people so the time for action has come. It needs to be urgent, we have to enforce the will of the United Nations and we cannot allow the slaughter of civilians to continue.

    "Obviously at this time our thoughts should be with those who are going to risk their lives to help the lives of others. I think it is vitally important that, with the United Nations behind us, with the clear legality of this action, and with local countries supporting us as well, it is right to act.

    "Of course, there are dangers. There are difficulties. There will always be unforeseen consequences of taking action. But it is better to take this action than to risk the consequences of inaction, which is the further slaughter of civilians by this dictator flouting the United Nations and its will."

  • United States

    Image: Clinton makes remarks on U.S. opportunities in the Americas at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington
    JONATHAN ERNST  /  Reuters
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

    "We have said from the start that Arab leadership and participation in this effort is crucial.

    "(Intervention) is to protect civilians and it is to provide access for humanitarian assistance.

    "Further delays will only put more civilians at risk.

    "We did not lead this. We did not engage in unilateral actions in any way, but we strongly support the international community taking action against governments and leaders who believe as Gadhafi  is unfortunately doing so now."

  • Germany

    Image: German Chancellor Merkel attends German Bundestag session in Berlin
    TOBIAS SCHWARZ  /  Reuters
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel

    "We are united that the war must be ended. The resolution must be pushed through.

    "We will not take part in the action in military terms. We will take on additional responsibilities in Afghanistan.

    "No one will succeed in dividing the international community in its determination. We stand united at the side of the Libyan people and stand united that the Gadhafi 's war against his own people must be ended and a cease-fire must be implemented.

    "I have called for a comprehensive oil embargo because this would hit the Libyan regime hard.

    "We are ready to relieve NATO particularly in its AWACS capabilities by taking on additional responsibilities in Afghanistan... Also we will naturally be prepared for the American bases in Germany to be used for military action.

    "The next few days will be decisive.

    "I believe that the presence also of the countries that are not participating militarily is very important because we have made clear that the resolution counts and this resolution must now be implemented. We will not participate militarily in the action."

  • European Union

    Image: EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ashton addresses a news conference in Brussels
    THIERRY ROGE  /  Reuters
    European High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

    EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton

    "The UN Security Council resolution 1973 has sent a strong and unequivocal message to Colonel Gadhafi : the violence against the people must stop immediately, the Libyan population must be protected.

    "Colonel Gadhafi  had and still has a choice to make. Either he abides immediately by the UNSC resolution or the international community will have no choice but to continue to act. I hope he will listen to the demands of the Libyan people, the European Union, the Arab League, the African Union and fulfill all the conditions set out by the international community in the UNSC resolution."

  • Italy

    Image: Silvio Berlusconi
    Thibault Camus  /  AP
    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

    "I have proposed that the military coordination of the operation be in the NATO base at Naples.

    "For the time being we are making the bases available but, if they request it, even military intervention (is possible)."

  • Spain

    Image: Spanish PM Rodriguez Zapatero speaks during a joint news conference with UN Secretary-General Ban after their meeting in Madrid
    ANDREA COMAS  /  Reuters
    Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

    Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero

    "The Libyan regime has not complied with the United Nations' resolution. It still has a chance to comply, immediately. That is the first demand of this meeting: immediate compliance."

  • United Nations

    Image: Ban Ki-moon meets Zapatero
    Chema Moya  /  EPA
    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon

    U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon

    "Everything depends upon how Libyan authorities will comply with the Security Council resolutions. I again urge, in the strongest possible terms, that Libyan authorities must fully comply with resolutions and they must immediately stop these military hostilities."

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