French UN envoy sees Libya action within hours of summit

19th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

France's Ambassador to the UN, Gerard Araud, has said he expects military intervention in Libya within hours of a summit in Paris later Saturday on taking UN-sanctioned action.

"We will have a summit in Paris with all the major participants in the operations and in the diplomatic effort. So I think it will be a good moment to send the last signal," he told BBC television late Friday.

"The US, the UK and France, we have also launched the ultimatum about the ceasefire.... we have set the conditions.

"So I guess that after the summit, I think that in the coming hours, I think we will go to launch the military intervention."

A UN Security Council resolution passed on Thursday authorised the use of "all necessary means" to protect civilians and enforce a ceasefire and no-fly zone against Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi's forces.

France, the United States and Britain issued a joint ultimatum to Kadhafi on Friday to "immediately" end attacks against his people or face military intervention based on the UN resolution.

France, Britain, Canada, Qatar and other countries have indicated that they are prepared to take part in enforcement of a no-fly zone and Washington has said the US will play a role.

Saturday's summit includes representatives from the European Union, the Arab League and the African Union, as well as UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

It will be hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also attend.

© 2011 AFP

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