France says 'everything ready' for Libya intervention

18th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Everything is ready for military intervention in Libya and leader Moamer Kadhafi's declared ceasefire will be examined at a "decisive" summit on Saturday, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said.

"We are ready," Juppe told journalists after talks with Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

"But tomorrow's meeting (in Paris) that will bring together many European countries, the Americans, Arab countries, African countries, will be the moment first of all to analyse recent statements from the Kadhafi regime on the ceasefire and to draw the conclusions," Juppe said.

"I repeat, everything is ready. I don't want to give you more of a precise timetable," he said.

France is on Saturday to host a summit with the European Union, the Arab League and the African Union as well as UN chief Ban Ki-moon on taking UN-sanctioned military action in Libya.

The summit, hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, comes after the UN Security Council on Thursday passed a resolution authorising military intervention in Libya to halt leader Moamer Kadhafi's attacks on civilians.

Western and Arab nations have been gearing up to launch air strikes after the UN approval, with the French government saying Friday morning that strikes aimed at enforcing a no-fly zone could happen "within hours."

Tripoli on Friday declared a ceasefire in its battle against the rebels within hours of the resolution being passed, but it was not immediately clear if the 40-year-old regime's weapons were really silent.

Libya must respect the "ceasefire on all the territory of Libya and not only Benghazi," Juppe said.

"We think that Libya must also comply with all the resolutions of the Security Council. We will discuss this point tomorrow with (...) the Europeans, Americains, Arabs and Africans".

© 2011 AFP

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