Obama Offers Weak Apology at UN for Middle East Chaos and Violence
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday the international community should have done more to avoid a leadership vacuum in Libya, which has been in disarray since the fall of Muammar Qaddafi four years ago.
Obama told the United Nations General Assembly the international community must work harder in future to ensure states do not implode.
The rapid descent of Libya into violent chaos was one of the most dramatic events in the “Arab Spring,” the abrupt collapse of long-standing autocratic governments in a number of Arab countries in the face of popular protests.
“Even as we helped the Libyan people bring an end to the reign of a tyrant, our coalition could have and should have done more to fill a vacuum left behind,” Obama said.
His rare acknowledgement of mistakes in Libya’s transition came as the United Nations tries to negotiate an end to fighting between two rival governments and their armed backers which has pushed the country to the brink of collapse.
The U.N. General Assembly on Monday was dominated by discussion of the turmoil in Syria, which erupted after an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. The United States and Russia have traded accusations about responsibility for the violence.