Tags: US | Libya

Gates Says Libya Not 'a Vital Interest' for US

Sunday, 27 Mar 2011 08:42 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he doesn't think Libya is "a vital interest" for the United States, but he does say the North African nation is part of a region that's of vital American interest.

Gates tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that "we clearly have interests" in Libya, though he doesn't believe it's a vital American interest.

President Barack Obama, who's scheduled a speech Monday about Libya, used his weekend radio address to explain his decision to take military action against Moammar Gadhafi.

Obama said that when innocent people are being "brutalized" and when a leader such as Gadhafi threatens "a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region" and when other countries are ready to help save lives, then it's in "our national interest to act."

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