Alhurra’s Congressional Correspondent Rana Abtar conducted a series of interviews with key lawmakers from both parties after a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing discussing Libya and what the United States’ response should be. At the hearing, committee chairman, Sen. John Kerry called for an end of the appalling violence perpetrated by the Gaddafi government against its own citizens.
The interviews included Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA)
Sen. Kerry stated, “We want the aspirations of people to be respected, we want their efforts in the streets to be fulfilled . . . Moamar Gaddafi has lost his legitimacy and validity as a leader, I think he should leave, I think his legitimacy as a leader has finished.”
Sen. Lugar noted, “We are currently not in the posture of sending forces into Libya, we are not engaging in military actions. We believe that there should be freedom of skies above Libya, so that people can’t be attacked, but at the same time we are very cautious to make certain that Libyans have an opportunity to work out their problems.” Sen. Lugar also affirmed that Gaddafi should step down without further hostility and killing and a new democratically elected government should be formed.
Sen. Menendez noted that the United States and the international community will work together on additional steps to hold the Gaddafi government accountable and stop the violence against Libyan civilians, emphasizing, “We can’t allow the slaughter of innocent Libyans, but we also have to work in an international consort. I don’t think it is something that the United States can or should do alone.”
When asked about his support of a no-fly zone in Libya and any military involvement of the United States in Libya, Rep. Webb stated, “We have to be very careful as the United States in terms of when we will actually move military forces into another country. In fact there was a recommendation from the Arab League this morning saying that the United States should not put military forces at this time.”
The interviews with lawmakers aired as part of Alhurra continuing coverage of the events in Libya.