Libya contact group to meet April 13 in Doha: France

7th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

The international contact group on Libya will meet on April 13 in the Qatari capital Doha, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Thursday.

France is trying "to convince the African Union to be present in Qatar next week because that's where the contact group is to meet on April 13," Juppe told lawmakers.

The AU did not attend the March 29 international conference in London that set up the contact group which is "charged with ensuring the political governance of the military intervention and the implementation of UN resolutions," Juppe said.

France wants members of the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) that is fighting Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's forces to attend a European Union foreign ministers' meeting next week ahead of the contact group.

"I'm working for them to be heard on Monday by the council of foreign ministers in Brussels," he said.

"There is apparently still some resistance from a few countries but we have to speak to them (the TNC) even if of course they don't have a monopoly on representing the Libyan people," Juppe said.

The London conference saw more than 40 countries and organisations, including the United Nations and NATO, gather to thrash out an international response to the Libya crisis.

The group was set up with the aim of providing leadership and an overall political direction to the international effort; a forum for coordinating the response; and a focal point for contact with the Libyan parties.

After Qatar, the chairmanship is to rotate between the countries of the region and beyond.

While Britain, France and the United States have driven forward the military action on Libya, they have been determined to ensure Arab nations are seen to be supporting their efforts.

Iraq, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Qatar, Tunisia and Morocco were all represented in London.

© 2011 AFP

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