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Obama, Cameron: No Letup in Pressure on Gaddafi

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TEHRAN, May 25 (ICANA) – U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron turned up the heat on Muammar Gaddafi in a joint appearance Wednesday, with the president saying that "ultimately" the Libyan leader would go.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 11:02:18 PM
Obama, Cameron: No Letup in Pressure on Gaddafi

"I do think we have made enormous progress in Libya. We have saved lives. Gaddafi and his regime need to understand there will not be a letup in the pressure we are applying," Obama said.

But both men said it would take time to reach a solution in Libya, which Gaddafi has ruled for 42 years and seems to be grinding into a stalemated civil war. CNN

A day after Queen Elizabeth II welcomed President Obama to Britain with pomp and ceremony, Prime Minister David Cameron and the American leader on Wednesday expressed agreement on the current strategy in Libya at a press conference on the final day of Mr. Obama's state visit. NYT

"I believe we have built enough momentum that if we sustain the course we're on, he is going to step down," Mr. Obama said at a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London. "We have not put an artificial timeline for how long this is going to take." CBS News

The president also acknowledged the factors that complicate the mission, however, and said that "ultimately, this is going to be a slow, steady process." CBS News

President Obama's optimism comes as members of U.S. Congress are increasingly questioning the United States' ongoing involvement in the Libyan conflict, which seems to have no clear end game. CBS News

Later Wednesday, Obama will speak to the British Parliament. Addressing both houses, Obama is expected to say that the U.S. and Europe must together play a lead role in global security. VOA

His speech comes just a day before the Group of Eight summit in Deauville, France, where he will meet with other leaders of major industrialized countries. VOA

The United States led the bombing campaign in Libya in its first week, but has since then taken a back seat, putting NATO in command with the British and French responsible for most strikes on Gaddafi's forces. President Obama made it clear that Washington was not planning to resume a more active military role. Huffington Post

The stated mission of the U.S. has been to protect Libyan civilians from Gaddafi's military forces but not to attack Gaddafi directly. Obama has said the goal is to give Libyan fighters the opportunity to gain enough strength to oust Gaddafi themselves. Still, Obama and other American officials have called for Gaddafi to step down from power. The Hill

U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged on April 15 that there was a "stalemate" on the ground in Libya. Gulf News

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said May 12 that the air war in Libya had cost the United States roughly $750 million to date, more than initially anticipated by the Pentagon. defensenews.com

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has said the United States should take a more aggressive approach in Libya to oust Dictator Muammar Gaddafi, bombing the capitol city so members of Gaddafi's inner circle "wake up every day wondering, 'will this be my last?' "Huffington Post

The president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass earlier suggested that the United States divide Libya and let Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi remain in power at least in the short run.

"We should push hard for a ceasefire, and do what we can to save as many lives as possible, even if that means for the time being having Gaddafi remain in power and have the country effectively divided." CFR

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