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Amanpour interviews Libya's Moammar Gadhafi

February 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The United States was moving naval and air power closer to Libya on Monday, and the Obama administration was not ruling out a possible no-fly zone.

Rebel fighters in eastern Libya tried to clear civilians off a road after government jets bombed an abandoned army outpost. The air attacks were focused on the anti-government fighters who continue to rise up the country's leader, Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

With violence continuing to sweep across Libya, Gadhafi sat down for an exclusive interview with ABC's Christiane Amanpour.

During the interview, Gadhafi laughed when Amanpour asked him if he would step down. Amanpour was the only U.S. reporter allowed to interview Gadhafi.

All this unfolds as Gadhafi staged a clampdown in Tripoli and seemed to be maneuvering to hit opposition-held cities.

Amanpour said Gadhafi wants to make it absolutely clear that he will not leave his homeland. The leader also said that his people love him and will fight for him.

In the interview, he refuses to accept that his people are against him and seems to be in denial that other big cities are in the hands of the opposition.

"He blames everything on terrorists and al Qaeda operatives. He does not believe his people are demonstrating against him. He repeated the charge that they have been given hallucinogenic drugs," said Amanpour. "He laughed when I asked him if he would step down in response to calls from the secretary of state and indeed President Barack Obama. He said no, he would not be leaving Libya."

In the meantime, the U.S. and other nations are engaging in both military and diplomatic moves against the troubled nation.

Germany has proposed to cut off all oil and other payments to Libya for 60 days.

It's the toughest plan yet aimed at forcing Gadhafi's regime to stop attacks on anti-government protesters.

Also, the European Union said it's adopting its own sanctions against Libya. The EU said its plan, including a freeze on assets, will bolster United Nations Security Council measures that were approved on Saturday.

The EU also embargoed any equipment that could be "used for internal repression."

"I cannot think of a time in recent memory when the council has acted so swiftly, so decisively and in unanimity on an urgent matter of international human rights," said Susan Rice, American ambassador to the U.N.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told British lawmakers Monday he is working with Britain's allies on a plan to establish a military no-fly zone over Libya.

Even before the announcement of the new sanctions, France pledged to send two planes with humanitarian aid to Libya's opposition stronghold of Benghazi.

Anti-government protesters hold virtually the entire eastern half of Libya, much of the oil infrastructure and some cities in the west.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.