Last updated: 14 November, 2011

US Senate panel to approve Libya resolution

A key US Senate panel was expected to adopt a resolution on Tuesday praising Libya’s people for overthrowing strongman Moamer Kadhafi and urging an “irreversible” transition to democratic rule.

President Barack Obama had drawn stiff criticism from key Republicans and some Democrats for not seeking explicit congressional authorization for the US role in NATO’s military strikes to aid the uprising.

The symbolic measure was expected to clear the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chaired by Democratic Senator John Kerry, one of its lead authors, setting the stage for the full Senate to take it up.

The resolution “congratulates the people of Libya for their tremendous courage and extraordinary resilience” in overthrowing Kadhafi and praises US and NATO forces for their “extraordinary bravery and professionalism.”

It backs the creation in Libya of “a democratic government that respects universal human rights and freedoms, and allows Libyans to build their lives free from fear” and says Washington backs “a successful and irreversible transition to democracy in Libya.”

That requires “respect for the rule of law; independent media; a vibrant civil society; and universal rights and freedoms, including equal rights for all citizens, freedom of speech, and human rights,” it says.