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World leaders work phones over Libya

Feb. 26, 2011 at 8:40 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama and other world leaders were busy talking to each other by phone Saturday concerning the crisis in Libya, officials said.

Obama spoke by phone to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to coordinate their "urgent efforts" to respond to the developments in Libya, where strongman Moammar Gadhafi has turned government forces on protesters seeking his ouster.

"The president and the chancellor shared deep concerns about the Libyan government's continued violation of human rights and brutalization of its people," the White House said in a statement recapping the phone conversation between Obama and Merkel. "The leaders reaffirmed their support for the Libyan people's demand for universal rights and a government that is responsive to their aspirations, and agreed that Gadhafi's government must be held accountable. They discussed appropriate and effective ways for the international community to respond."

The White House said Obama welcomed the efforts by the United States' allies and partners, including at the United Nations and by the European Union, "to develop and implement strong measures."

The two also discussed the world economic situation and the need for effective tools to promote economic stability in the Eurozone, the White House said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon talked by phone with King Abdallah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi about Libya.

Ban briefed the Saudi king on the United Nations' efforts to stop the bloodshed in Libya and to hold those responsible accountable. He underscored Saudi Arabia's key religious and political role in the region.

The secretary-general asked Berlusconi for Italy's continued support and proactive role in formulating decisive action, a summary of their conversation released by the United Nations showed.

The secretary-general also said he would travel Washington Monday to discuss the situation with Obama.

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