WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says the Arab League has taken an "important step" by asking the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and increasing international pressure on Moammar Gadhafi.

A statement from the White House says there's a clear international message that the violence in Libya must stop.

President Barack Obama has repeatedly called for Gadhafi to step down. But the U.S. has not been willing to impose a no-fly zone unilaterally. The White House says the U.S. will prepare for all contingencies and coordinate with allies.

The U.S. and its European allies wanted support from Arab countries to broaden the pressure on Libya. The Arab League wants the no-fly zone to protect civilians from air attack by Gadhafi's forces.

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