March 17, 2011 / 3:33 PM / 8 years ago

William Burns sees danger Gaddafi returns to terrorism

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is concerned that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi could return to terrorism and violent extremism if he succeeds in the battle against insurgents, Undersecretary of State William Burns said on Thursday.

“If Gaddafi is successful, you also face a number of other considerable risks as well,” Burns told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. These included “the danger of him returning to terrorism and violent extremism,” he said, adding that there was “a real danger of increasing violence and turmoil” in the Middle East.

The U.S. supports international measures in Libya that are “short of boots on the ground,” Burns added.

Burns also told the committee that a no-fly zone over Libya could have “an important, positive, practical” effect, but it was still necessary to consider other measures.

He said “hard to predict” how Russia and China would act on a resolution before the United Nations Security Council on the Libyan crisis. “They have some concerns,” about the issue, he said.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell, Editing by Jackie Frank

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