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Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy agree that leaving Gaddafi in power would be "an unconscionable betrayal"

By Jonathan Isaby

Picture 5 It's not every day that the leaders of three of the most powerful Western nations pen a joint newspaper article, but that is what David Cameron, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy have done this morning.

They have co-authored an opinion piece which appears in The Times (£) - as well as the Washington Post (not yet online) and Le Figaro in their respective nations - in which they commit to continued military action in Libya until Colonel Gaddafi has left power.

The Times suggests that Obama's signing up to the piece "marks an important moment in the campaign and a tipping point that effectively commits the United States for the duration." It reports that the article had originally been due to be in the names of Messrs Cameron and Sarkozy, but that the US President requested to lend his support after being sent a copy as a matter of courtesy.

Here are the key passages from the piece:     

“It is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Gaddafi in power... It is unthinkable that someone who has tried to massacre his own people can play a part in their future government. The brave citizens of those towns that have held out against forces that have been mercilessly targeting them would face a fearful vengeance if the world accepted such an arrangement. It would be an unconscionable betrayal.”

“So long as Gaddafi is in power, Nato and its coalition partners must maintain their operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds. Then a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process can really begin, led by a new generation of leaders. For that transition to succeed, Colonel Gaddafi must go, and go for good. At that point, the United Nations and its members should help the Libyan people as they rebuild where Gaddafi has destroyed — to repair homes and hospitals, to restore basic utilities, and to assist Libyans as they develop the institutions to underpin a prosperous and open society."

"Britain, France and the United States will not rest until the UN Security Council resolutions have been implemented and the Libyan people can choose their own future.”


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