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Libyan rebels on the outskirts of the oil town of Ras Lanuf flash the victory sign at a Libyan airforce fighter jet flying overhead after dropping a bomb on Monday. (AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Seeks Consensus On Libya At U.N.

by Wright Bryan
Mar 7, 2011 (All Things Considered)

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Calls for international intervention in Libya have forced the United Nations to take up the issue. Talks have focused on creating a no-fly zone over the country in an effort to neutralize Moammar Gadhafi's air power advantage.

Ambassador Susan Rice, the United States representative at the United Nations, tells Melissa Block on All Things Considered that "it's too soon to know" if a resolution to impose a no-fly zone could pass in the U.N.

Rice tells Block that there are a number of governments — Russia included — who question whether military intervention is the best way to end the violence in Libya.

"Our aim — and I think the international community is substantially united in this respect — is to halt the violence and to make it very clear that Gadhafi has to step down," says Rice. "And that those around him who continue to hang on with him as he clings to power are going to be held accountable for the crimes that they are committing."

The ambassador went on to say that the U.S. is consulting with members of the international community about what steps to take next and "would want the strongest possible international consensus" before taking any new action.

While the Arab League has been one of the voices arguing against military intervention in Libya, Rice says that the U.S. was gratified to see the Arab League and African Union lead the charge in support of sanctions against Libya earlier in the crisis.

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