Washington: United States has reiterated its demand that the Libyan authoritarian leader, Muammar Gaddafi, resigns and leaves the country while making it clear that NATO’s military mission does not favour a regime change in Libya.

"We have been clear, both as the United States and as NATO, that the military mission in Libya is not regime change," the State Department Director of Policy Planning, Jacob J Sullivan, told reporters.

"As you all know, the goal, as it was laid out in the NATO communique that came out of Berlin is to enforce the arms embargo, the no-fly zone, and to conduct a civilian protection
mission," Sullivan said.

"We made very clear to the Gaddafi regime what it would take to secure an end to the strikes, and that is the series of items that were enumerated in that communique," he
said.

"At the same time, the US believes that it is critical for the future of Libya and to redeem the aspirations of the Libyan people that Gaddafi goes," he said.

"We are using a wide variety of means to pressurise and isolate the Gaddafi regime and to sharpen the choice for those around him to produce that outcome. But that is distinct and separate from the military mission that has been undertaken to enforce 1973," the State Department official said.

"Civilian protection mission under 1973 is a mission that is aimed at ending the attacks and threat of attacks on Libyan civilians, leading to the departure from cities of all of Gaddafi forces," Sullivan said.

"So from our perspective, the broader political objective of securing Gaddafi's departure is to achieve a peaceful political transition in Libya that leads to the redemption of the aspirations of its people,” the State Department official said.

The US and its partners have targeted command-and-control sites that are being used by regime forces to wage attacks against Libyan civilians, Sullivan said adding that "this has helped opposition to achieve some success in pushing Gaddafi's forces back in Misrata.”

 

(Agencies)