Libya's Ambassador to U.S. Calls for Gadhafi to Quit

February 22, 2011 - 9:39 AM

Washington (AP) - Libya's ambassador to the United States on Monday joined other diplomats from the Arab nation in calling for Moammar Gadhafi to step down as their leader and asked the international community to condemn strongly the regime's violent crackdown on protesters.

"I think he should step down, of course, after what's happening in our country now," Ambassador Ali Aujali said in an interview with The Associated Press. "There's no other solution. He should step down and give the chance for the people to make their future."

Aujali added: "How can I support the government killing our people? ... What I have seen in front of my eyes now is not acceptable at all."

Aujali, who has worked for the Libyan government for 40 years and has been its ambassador to the United States since 2009, said he had lost all patience with the Gadhafi regime. He was not resigning his post, he said, because he is part of the "good side" of the Libyan government and not part of the killing.

"There are many people working very hard to make things work in the right way but, unfortunately, we don't have enough power that we can change everything going on in Libya," he said.

Aujali, who said he had not been in contact with the government Monday, urged Libyans to maintain momentum and to continue struggling for their rights. The news media need to be involved in reporting what is taking place to bring "the right picture" to the world, he said.

"The Libyan people, they're suffering for a long time," Aujali said, "and maybe this is the chance, with the support of the international community, to make a great change for our people."