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President Obama says he wouldn't rule out providing weapons to the rebels in Libya, and he predicts that Moammar Gadhafi will resign. Yesterday, at an international conference in London, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed Gadhafi's possible end game with coalition partners.
NPR's Michele Kelemen traveled with Clinton and has this report.
MICHELE KELEMEN: The U.S. and its partners feel they accomplished a lot in a short period of time destroying Libyan air defenses and preventing a potential massacre, by pushing back Gadhafi's forces just as they were bearing down on the rebel stronghold in Benghazi.
But Secretary Clinton says there's so much in play now, she had a hard time answering a reporter's question about how this might end, and if there's a deal that could be worked out that would see Gadhafi in exile.
Secretary HILLARY CLINTON (Department of State): This has happened so quickly that we're now facing questions like the ones you asked. But I'm not sure that we know exactly when we will get to any change in attitude by Gadhafi and those around him.
KELEMEN: There are also plenty of questions about the rebels, who they are and what they might be able to do. Clinton met with several members of the so-called Interim National Council in London yesterday. The council's spokesman, Mahmoud Shammam, says the hope is that if the opposition gains steam, people will rise up in Tripoli.
Shammam says he's looking mainly for political support abroad, though he says the opposition also needs financial help and could use better weapons.
Mr. MAHMOUD SHAMMAM (Spokesman, Interim National Council): We don't have arms at all. Otherwise we finish Gadhafi in a few days. But we don't have arms. We ask for the political support more than we're asking for the arms. But if we get it both, that will be great.
KELEMEN: Secretary Clinton says the U.S. has made no decisions about arming the opposition, though she thinks the latest U.N. resolution would allow countries to do that. And she acknowledges that the U.S. doesn't know as much as it would like to know about the transitional council, which Clinton describes a work in progress. She does have an envoy who's expected to go to Benghazi soon.
Michele Kelemen, NPR News, Washington.
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