Obama: Time for Gadhafi to Relinquish Power

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Photo: AP - Obama on Martha's VInyard
Photo: AP - Obama on Martha's VInyard

U.S. President Barack Obama has called on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to “relinquish power once and for all,” saying the momentum against him has reached a tipping point.

In a statement late Sunday after Libyan rebels pushed into the capital, Tripoli, Mr. Obama said Mr. Gadhafi needs to acknowledge that he no longer controls the country.

Mr. Obama also said the United States will continue to work with the international community to support a peaceful transition to democracy in Libya, and urged the opposition Transitional National Council to include the interests of all the Libyan people.

Earlier Sunday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the sooner Mr. Gadhafi realizes he “cannot win the battle … the better.”

The International Criminal Court at The Hague confirmed that the rebels had detained Mr. Gadhafi’s son Seif al-Islam.  The world court was quick to remind the rebels that they had “an obligation to surrender Seif to the ICC.”

The ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Gadhafi, his son, and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, charged with crimes against humanity.

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez on Sunday was one of the rare voices to criticize the events in Libya, and he condemned NATO’s airstrikes in the country.

Mr. Chavez has long been a staunch defender Mr. Gadhafi and has denounced the popular uprising, claiming it is an oil grab by Western powers.

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