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Obama Says Gadhafi Needs To Leave Office

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U.S. President Barack Obama says Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi has lost his legitimacy to lead and must leave office.

Obama commented during a White House news conference on Thursday with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. President Obama said he had instructed U.S. agencies to examine a “full range of options” for Libya. He also said he had authorized the use of military aircraft to help evacuate Egyptians from the region.

U.S. President Barak Obama
U.S. President Barak Obama

President Calderon condemned violence against civilians in Libya. He said it is not possible for civilians to be “massacred” and the perpetrators not be punished.

Meanwhile, world bodies are stepping up their responses to the Libyan crisis.

International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced an investigation against Gadhafi, his key aides and some of his sons. He said Thursday that he will probe allegations of crimes against humanity in Libya’s violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Thursday that the bloc’s foreign ministers will gather in Brussels for a series of meetings on Libya starting on March 10.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday the alliance has no intention of intervening in Libya, but is “planning for all eventualities.”

Also, a spokesman for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says Libya has accepted a plan that calls for Chavez to seek a negotiated solution to Libya’s unrest. News organizations say the Arab League is studying Chavez’s plan.

On Wednesday, Arab League foreign ministers said they would consider backing a “no-fly zone” and would pursue talks on the best way to protect Libya’s citizens and assure their security. But the group said rejected any direct outside military intervention.

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