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Merkel urges Qaddafi to step down from power immediately

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Feb 28, IRNA -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Monday for Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi to step down from power immediately, chancellery spokesman Steffen Seibert told media representatives in Berlin.

Merkel urged Qaddafi to pave the way for a free and peaceful Libya, by resigning immmediately, Seibert was cited saying.

'The violence against his own people has to come to an end,' he reiterated.

Seibert quoted Merkel as saying she welcomed the passing of a UN Securtiy Council resolution against Libya.

The council voted 15-0 to adopt Resolution 1970 imposing a comprehensive arms embargo, a travel ban and freeze of assets on the Qaddafi regime over its ongoing lethal crackdown on popular protests.

Meanwhile, a German foreign ministry spokesman would not rule out support for a possible no-fly zone over Libya.

Andreas Peschke said any further steps against the Qaddafi regime would be
discussed with other international partners.

He linked the issue of a no-fly zone to the situation on the ground in the North African country.

Peschke pointed out that German Foreign Minister Westerwelle was to meet bilaterally with US and Russian counterparts on the sidelines of a meeting on Libya in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva later in the day.



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