Kadhafi 'days are numbered': Clinton

13th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's "days are numbered" after signs of advances on the field by rebels.

Clinton, at a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said that Kadhafi had yet to meet "red lines" of withdrawing his forces and stepping down.

"Although neither of us can predict to you the exact day or hour that Kadhafi will leave power, we do understand and agree that his days are numbered," Clinton said.

"We will continue to work closely with our international partners including Russia to increase the pressure on him and his regime," Clinton said.

Clinton said that she hoped eventually for a ceasefire that will "give the Libyan people a way to plot their way forward."

An AFP correspondent in the field said that Libyan rebels had repulsed Kadhafi loyalists in the desert hamlet of Gualish and pursued their enemy to the outskirts of the strategic town of Asabah.

Russia abstained from a vote on a March UN Security Council resolution that opened the way for foreign involvement and has since criticized the campaign -- particularly arms drops by France, along with Britain the main proponent of the intervention.

Lavrov played down differences with Clinton over Libya, saying: "We have less misunderstanding with the United States than with some European countries."

"We are united in that we have to start a political process as soon as possible," Lavrov said. "We have different channels, official and not so official."

However, the Russian foreign ministry said earlier Wednesday that Moscow would not take part in upcoming discussions on Libya to take place later this week in Turkey, which has also seen itself as a mediator in the conflict.

© 2011 AFP

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