From Barack Obama, the White House: Prime Minister Gillard and I both share a very firm conviction that the violence that’s been taking place and perpetrated by the government in Libya is unacceptable. Australia joined with us in imposing swift and firm sanctions, comprehensive sanctions, against the Libyan government. We continue to monitor the violence there.
I want to send a very clear message to those who are around Colonel Qaddafi: It is their choice to make how they operate moving forward, and they will be held accountable for whatever violence continues to take place there.
In the meantime, we’ve got NATO, as we speak, consulting in Brussels around a wide range of potential options, including potential military options, in response to the violence that continues to take place inside of Libya. In addition, we have taken the lead on a host of humanitarian efforts, and I just authorized an additional $15 million that will be provided to aid organizations that are already on the ground. And we’ve been coordinating with the United Nations, which now has a number of personnel on the ground as well, to make sure that people are getting the help they need and we are in a position to respond to any additional emergencies that may arise out of the situation there.
Excerpts from remarks by President Barack Obama after meeting with Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia. (photo: Getty)