Remarks
Jeffrey D. Feltman
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Benghazi, Libya
August 20, 2011


AP/Reuters soundbites:

Assistant Secretary Feltman (Aug. 20): "We just finished a positive and constructive meeting with TNC (sic) chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil in which chairman Abdel Jalil reiterated the TNC's commitment to a democratic united Libya that respects the rights of all of its citizens. We also had an opportunity to brief chairman Mustafa Abdel on U.S. efforts to help the Libyan people achieve their aspirations. During this trip we've also met with the head of the TNC's executive committee, his Excellency Mehmoud Gibreel, the ministers of finance, interior and defense and other civilian and military officers, officials to discuss recent developments."

"It is clear that the situation is moving against Qadhafi. The opposition continues to make substantial gains on the ground, while his forces grow weaker. As President Obama and Secretary Clinton have stated, it is time for Qadhafi to go. And we firmly believe his days are numbered."

"The NATO-led coalition is rooted in Security Council 1973, which is the protection of Libyan civilians. In our view the best protection for Libyan civilians would be for Moammar Qadhafi to step down now. The international community has called for that for some time, thanks to the rebel advances the pressure on him is increasing, and we strongly believe that that would be the best protection for the Libyan civilians, would be to see him leave."

"The United States and the international community strongly support the Libyan peoples' struggle for a better and democratic future. The international community will continue to put pressure on the Gaddafi regime and to protect civilians as authorized by UN Resolution 1973. It is clear that the situation is moving against Qadhafi. The opposition continues to make substantial gains on the ground, while his forces grow weaker. As president Obama and secretary Clinton have stated, it is time for Qadhafi to go and we firmly believe that his days are numbered. We, like others in the Libya contact group recognize the TNC as the legitimate governing authority of Libya during this interim period. Just as we in Washington, we welcome the re-opening of the Libyan embassy under the TNC's flag."

"Yusif Skert. You know this is another example of why it is that the international community has such revulsion, is so disgusted by the behavior of Qadhafi and his regime, and you've seen the intensification of the fight to protect Libyan civilians. We certainly are focused on this issue and we will be doing all we can in partnership with other NATO countries to fulfill that mandate of the security council to protect Libyan civilians."