Lawmakers Talk About Renewing Sanctions on Libya

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A leading senator says the White House should consider re-imposing sanctions against Libya -- sanctions that were lifted by President George W. Bush after Moammar Gadhafi renounced terrorism.

Democrat John Kerry, who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says Libya's violent crackdown on anti-government protesters is "beyond despicable."

Kerry is also urging U.S. and international oil companies to suspend their operations in Libya.

Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (ih-lay-AH'-nah rahs LAY'-tih-nehn), who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is also calling for new sanctions, including freezes on assets and travel bans on senior Libyan officials.

The Obama administration is denouncing what it calls "appalling" violence in Libya. But it's stopping short of criticizing Gadhafi personally or demanding that he step down.

U.S. officials are calling on Gadhafi's government to talk with opponents.

Meanwhile, they're trying to safely remove U.S. diplomats and other Americans from the violence spreading around Libya.

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