G8 Paris gathering to tackle Libya: diplomats

11th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

G8 foreign ministers will gather in Paris on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the unrest in Libya, diplomats said Friday, after France raised the prospect of air strikes against its ruler Moamer Kadhafi.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and their counterparts from Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan will discuss Libya along with host France, current president of the grouping.

A two-day crisis meeting at NATO on Thursday and Friday exposed an EU rift over how to force the Libyan leader out, with France calling for targeted strikes if he bombs his people.

Britain and France have a draft resolution in hand for the United Nations Security Council to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya.

Russia and China have reservations about the resolution however and allies Germany and Italy have also taken a cautious line.

Diplomats who asked not to be named told AFP that the talks would also look at other crises in countries such as Somalia, Ivory Coast and Sudan, as well as the Middle East and global drug-trafficking.

The meeting would lay the groundwork for a full summit of G8 leaders in Deauville, western France, in May.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet the foreign ministers on Friday before a working dinner hosted by his Foreign Minister Alain Juppe ahead of their full meeting and news conferences on Tuesday.

The leaders will hold various bilateral meetings, the diplomats said, without giving further details.

© 2011 AFP

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