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LIBYA: European leaders urged to press Kadafi to end violence

February 23, 2011 |  1:39 pm

Sarkozy French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday urged the European Union to impose economic sanctions against Libya.

"The continuing brutal and bloody repression against the Libyan civilian population is revolting," Sarkozy said, raising the possibility that all economic and business ties would be cut between the European Union and Libya. "The international community cannot remain a spectator to these massive violations of human rights."

The Associated Press reported that the EU has been criticized for an initially cautious response to the bloodshed in Libya and in other Arab countries swept up in a wave of popular protests against authoritarian regimes. The bloc's 27 members have disagreed on how hard a tone to take against Libya, their neighbor across the Mediterranean and a major supplier of their oil.

The Associated Press said that by Wednesday momentum seemed to be building for a tougher response to strongman Moammar Kadafi, who has vowed to fight to his "last drop of blood."

Meanwhile, in Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a news conference that the United States would continue to send a message "that violence is unacceptable and the Libyan government will be held accountable for the actions that it is taking." But she said other countries have closer relationships with Libya and might get better results ending the violence.

Sarkozy, for instance, hosted Kadafi for a lavish visit to Paris in 2007, and the two nations agreed on deals for arms and nuclear reactors worth billions of dollars.

-- Garrett Therolf

Photo: Nicolas Sarkozy. Credit: Reuters

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