Turkey says Gadhafi should step down

May 3, 2011 at 11:16 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, May 3 (UPI) -- Turkey's prime minister says Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi must leave power immediately to stop the bloodshed and peacefully end the anti-government uprising.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Gadhafi had turned a blind eye to Turkey's advice to stop the violence and appoint a new political leader, Today's Zaman reported Tuesday.

"Gadhafi preferred to shed blood instead of heeding our calls," Erdogan said in a televised press conference. "We are done talking in Libya. We want him to leave power for a better future for his country."

Erdogan's remarks came as Turkey temporarily closed its embassy in Tripoli for security reasons, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

"Due to the change in the security situation in Libya and the great security risk it poses, our embassy has stopped functioning temporarily and has been evacuated," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.

The closure follows attacks on British and Italian diplomatic missions in the Libyan capital during the weekend.

Turkey has tried to mediate between the Libyan administration and opposition groups to achieve a cease-fire.

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