STATEMENT BY SENATORS McCAIN AND LIEBERMAN CONDEMNING THE VIOLENCE IN LIBYA
February 22, 2011
Amman, Jordan – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) today released the following statement regarding the situation in Libya. Senators McCain and Lieberman are currently traveling in the Middle East, including Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and Egypt, where they are conducting meetings to discuss recent developments in the region:
"We are appalled by what appear to be crimes against humanity occurring in Libya. The Qaddafi regime's ongoing slaughter and oppression is deplorable and must end.
"We commend the courage of the Libyan people who are risking their lives for their freedom and dignity. And we applaud those Libyan officials who have broken with the Qaddafi regime and now stand in solidarity with the Libyan people. We call on others to join them. Those who embrace the cause of justice now should be spared the consequences of justice later.
"All governments have an obligation to respect the universal rights of their citizens, and when any government abuses those sacred rights as flagrantly as the Qaddafi regime is now doing, it forfeits its right to power. The horrific situation in Libya demands more than just public condemnation; it requires strong international action.
"The community of responsible nations must now take concrete steps to support the Libyan people as they seek their liberation from a brutal dictatorship. There is an array of measures that the United States and our global partners, including the European Union and African Union, should immediately pursue.
"Some Libyan diplomats have bravely called for a no-fly zone to stop the Qaddafi regime's use of airpower to attack Libyan civilians. We support this course of action. Other steps that should be considered include targeted sanctions and asset freezes against Libyan officials, an arms embargo, and the immediate suspension of Libya from international organizations.
"In recent weeks we have witnessed revolutions that have opened the door to freedom and democracy in Tunisia and Egypt. We hope and believe the Libyan people will have the same opportunity."