Clinton Off to Plot Libya Strategy with Allies

By MATTHEW LEE | June 7, 2011 | 4:44 PM EDT

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton greets Crown Prince of Bahrain, Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa at the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, June 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is heading to the Persian Gulf to join top officials from the nations backing NATO military action in Libya, where Moammar Gadhafi (MOO'-ah-mar gah-DAH'-fee) is refusing to relinquish power.

Clinton leaves Washington late Tuesday for the United Arab Emirates, where she and other members of the so-called Contact Group on Libya will try to boost pressure on Gadhafi to leave and increase support for the country's opposition. Thursday's meeting in Abu Dhabi comes as NATO has stepped up its attacks with daytime airstrikes on targets in Tripoli. Gadhafi has responded by denouncing the rebels and vowing not to surrender.

After the Libya meeting, Clinton will tour Africa, visiting Zambia, Tanzania and Ethiopia.