The United States wants a well co-ordinate international effort on Libya, but reserves its right to take unilateral steps, a top Obama aide has said.
"It is our strong preference, in this situation and many others, that we act together with our international partners, because, collectively, we are stronger than we are individually in cases like this," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
"But it is obviously the case that we always reserve the right to act, NATO does, rather, as the US does, to act on its own," he said in response to a question. Top national security officials met President Barack Obama at the White House during the day to review the current situation in Libya and discuss on the future course of action.
"They are evaluating the various options in the situation in Libya and the broader region, and the various options that we have taken and are implementing, and others that remain on the table," Carney said, adding no decision was anticipated out of this meeting.
The official said the US was working with the United Nations, NATO and all its partners on variety of options. "The option of declaring no-fly zone is being actively considered," he added. Carney said the statements and the actions that have been taken by this President in the three weeks since this circumstance began in Libya demonstrate the moral outrage that they feel at the actions taken by the Libyan regime against its people.
"So, clearly there is a moral component to not just the actions of the US and its President but the actions of the entire international community, and its swift and coordinated reaction to and response to the despicable behaviour of the Libyan regime," he noted.
The White House spokesman reiterated that Muammar Qaddafi needs to leave, needs to step down. "He has lost the legitimacy to rule in the eyes of his people and in the eyes of the world. I don't think you can be any clearer than that," he asserted. Responding to a question, Carney said the US believes that the arms embargo by the UN Security Council contains within it the flexibility to allow for a decision to arm the opposition, if that decision were made. Carney argued the Obama Administration has been working with a sense of urgency and speed with regard to Libya.