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Obama, Cameron repeat calls for regime change in Libya

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, May 25, IRNA -- US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron insisted Wednesday that there would be no let up in applying pressure on Libya for leader Muammar Gadaffi to step down.

But both leader advised caution about an immediate result, with Obama saying the inability to put 'boots on the ground' in Libya, as stipulated in UN Security Council resolution 1973, limits the air operations by Nato forces.

There are no 'secret' air assets that can quickly sort out the situation in Libya, he said at a joint press conference with the British prime minister in London.

Cameron refused to confirm if Britain would be sending Apache attack helicopters to Libya but said that the US and UK both believed they should be 'turning up the heat” and that 'all options' for intensifying the pressure on the regime were being considered.

Asked whether his partnership with Obama was 'really that different' to Bush-Blair, who launched wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said: 'We have to learn the lessons of history about how best we promote the values that we share', including a 'patient understanding that building democracy takes time'.

Libya was among topics at the press conference dominated by foreign issues, including the ten year war in Afghanistan, the Arab uprisings and the so-called Middle East peace process.

On the Middle East, Obama endorsed his pro-Israeli credentials, buying into the language of supporting a “Jewish state' of Israel and dropping his previous reference that a Palestinian state must be based upon 1967 borders with land swaps after it was rejected by Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu,

He also excluded the issues of Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem from his aims, saying they were “extraordinarily emotional” and should be resolved by the two parties if Israel's security and a Palestinian state can first be resolved,

His emphasis to restart negotiations was put back on the Palestinian Authority to make concessions again following the agreement between Hamas and Fatah to first recognise Israel, renounce violence and accept previous agreements.

'It is very different for Israelis to sit across the table and negotiate with a party that does not recognise their right to exist,' the US president said, adding that he does not want Palestinians 'to forget that they have obligations as well'.

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