Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Obama, Gillard Consult on Afghanistan, Libya
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
Obama met with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the White House this morning, and the security situation in
was among the topics they discussed. Afghanistan
The president noted that
is the largest non-NATO coalition member in Australia , with more than 1,550 Australian servicemembers deployed there. The Australians are based in Regional Command-South in Uruzgun. Afghanistan
“We’ve had the opportunity to talk about the fight in
,” Gillard said. “It is hard, but it's something that I am very personally committed to, to seeing the mission done and to ensuring we play our part in training the Afghan National Army and bringing security to Afghanistan so that the Afghan people can lead their own security.” Afghanistan
Obama and Gillard discussed the transition process in
as coalition forces turn more and more of the security mission over to Afghan security forces. They also discussed the situation in the Afghanistan Middle East.
“I think Prime Minister Gillard and I both share a very firm conviction that the violence that’s been taking place and perpetrated by the government in
is unacceptable,” Obama said. “ Libya joined with us in imposing swift and firm sanctions, comprehensive sanctions against the Libyan government. We continue to monitor the violence there.” Australia
Obama said that those supporting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi will be held accountable for whatever violence occurs. He added that NATO is looking at a wide range of options, “including potential military options, in response to the violence that continues to take place inside of
has pledged another $15 million to humanitarian aid organizations that are already on the ground. United States
“We’ve been coordinating with the United Nations, which now has a number of personnel on the ground as well, to make sure that people are getting the help they need, and we are in a position to respond to any additional emergencies that may arise out of the situation there,” Obama said.
“We stand for an observance of human rights, and … we send a very clear message to the Libyan people that we will stand with them in the face of unwarranted violence and the continuing suppression of democratic ideals that we've seen there,” Obama said.