U.S. VP calls leaders of Algeria, Kuwait over Libya

09:04, March 21, 2011      

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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday called Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah over Western military actions against Libya.

The White House described the phone talks as part of the ongoing consultations on the coalition action to fulfill United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which was adopted on Thursday to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya and call for "all necessary measures," excluding troops on the ground, to protect civilians under threat of attack in the North African country.

Biden discussed with both the prime minister and the Emir their "mutual support for the full implementation of the resolution and the need to protect the Libyan people," the White House said.

U.S. President Barack Obama, currently on a visit to Brazil, received a briefing on U.S. military operations in Libya by his national security team on Sunday morning, the White House said, adding the president also discussed the ongoing military and diplomatic consultations taking place on the situation in Libya.

Mike Mullen, U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Sunday that the initial operations by the United States and its European allies "have been very effective" by putting effectively in place a no-fly zone and taking out most of Libya's defense systems and some of its airfields.

"Yet, there is still, I think, a great deal to be done," he said at CNN's "State of the Union" program, adding that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has some mobile air defense capability and the coalition forces will "look to cut of his logistics lines."

The U.S. military and British forces on Saturday fired over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles targeting Libya's air defense systems, while French and British fighter jets attacked targets in Libya.

On Sunday, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa criticized the allied strikes, saying they went beyond what the Arab body had supported. He told reporters in Cairo that "What has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone and what we want is the protection of civilians and not bombing civilians." He also called for an emergency meeting of the group to discuss the situation in Libya.

Source: Xinhua

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