U.S. To Impose Sanctions On Libya; Embassy Closed

February 25, 2011

Bill Chappell

The United States has closed its embassy in Libya's capital of Tripoli, and will impose unilateral sanctions to protest Libya's crackdown on opposition protesters.

Here's an excerpt from a Newscast report filed by Scott Horsley from the White House:

In addition to unilateral sanctions, the United States is negotiating with its allies over a possible weapons embargo against Libya, and a freeze on Libyan assets.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says President Obama held off announcing the moves until a planeload of American evacuees had safely left Libya, en route to Istanbul.

"The focus that he has is on our obligation to the security of American citizens, and also getting the policy right."

Carney says U.S. intelligence will be monitoring any further atrocities against the Libyan people, and that those responsible for such actions will be held accountable.

The president is expected to speak about actions his administration is taking against the government of Moammar Gadhafi later this afternoon.

Earlier Friday, hundreds of Americans who had been trapped in Libya arrived safely in Malta. Many of them had been stranded in a Libyan port as bad weather prevented their chartered ferry from leaving.

International sanctions against Libya will be discussed when the United Nations Security Council holds a special meeting Friday. The UPI reports that "U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will lead the 15-member meeting, said France's U.N. mission, which requested the session." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.