Washington, March 29 (DPA) Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has been “badly weakened” and his military advance against rebel forces has been halted by the international coalition, US President Barack Obama said Monday.
“We have stopped Gaddafi’s deadly advance,” Obama said in a speech designed to outline his policy on Libya and the US military’s role in the conflict.
The US will continue to apply pressure on Gaddafi to step down after 42 years in power, but US forces will not be used to remove Gaddafi from power. Obama cautioned that it will take time to politically isolate Gaddafi and push aside his regime.
“It may not happen overnight, as a badly weakened Gaddafi tries desperately to hang on to power,” Obama said. “But it should be clear to those around Gadaffi, and to every Libyan, that history is not on his side.”
The Obama administration has already enacted sanctions and frozen $33 billion in assets in the US belonging to Gaddafi’s regime. He said that money will be used to rebuild Libya and will never be returned to Gaddafi.
“This money does not belong to Gaddafi or to us – it belongs to the Libyan people, and we will make sure they receive it,” Obama said.