Obama Working To Convince Arab World Libya Action Doesn’t Exceed UN Mandate
President Obama, contrary to what conservative attackers are promoting, isn’t vacationing in Rio, but rather continuing with senior officials to reach out to the Arab world to convince shore up support for the Libya action, and to convince Arab nations that the UN mandate is not being exceeded.
The senior officials described the Obama team’s phone calls as making clear to the Arab League that bombing Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s air defenses falls within the U.N. Security Council resolution’s scope of imposing a no-fly zone and taking “all necessary measures” to stop the dictator from attacking civilians in his own country.
“We don’t believe this goes beyond the resolution,” said one senior administration official in describing the White House’s message to the Arab League.
The lobbying came after Arab League officials complained earlier Sunday that airstrikes by the U.S. military and other allies inside Libya exceeded the scope of merely instituting a no-fly zone.
The president and vice president are each speaking with Arab leaders.
Obama also personally called King Abdullah of Jordan as part of the effort to keep key Arab allies on board with the mission.
The Obama phone call was in addition to calls made by Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday to leaders in Algeria and Kuwait.
The White House continues to insist that it will hand off much of the mission to allies “later this week.”