France talks defence ties with Libya

6th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

TRIPOLI, Feb 5 (AFP) - French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie held talks with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi Saturday on a two-day visit to restore defence ties that France broke off in the early 1980s after Libya invaded neighbouring Chad.

TRIPOLI, Feb 5 (AFP) - French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie held talks with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi Saturday on a two-day visit to restore defence ties that France broke off in the early 1980s after Libya invaded neighbouring Chad.

French diplomats described the talks as "very good" and said they also focused on EU concerns about clandestine migration from Libya into the 25-nation bloc.

Alliot-Marie signed a framework agreement with Libyan defence chief General Abu Bakr Yunes Jaber which set up separate committees to consider future strategic dialogue, military cooperation and arms sales.

The French minister recalled Libya's renunciation in late 2003 of efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction and its indemnification of the families of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing and other attacks of the 1980s which had been pinned on the Tripoli regime.

"Our common interests ... particularly the fight against trafficking ... justify our working together again," she said.

The minister's talks here followed a visit by President Jacques Chirac last November, the first by a French head of state to Libya since 1951.

Chirac was the latest of a string of Western leaders to travel to Tripoli last year, including British Prime Minister Toby Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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