Vatican newspaper criticises France 'haste' over Libya

22nd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Vatican said Tuesday that France had been "hasty" in launching into a military operation against Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's regime and not coordinating its efforts with other countries.

The Holy See's Osservatore Romano newspaper dedicated its front page to the "great confusion" over France's strategy and the diplomatic differences between Italy and its neighbour.

Paris has been criticised by some, including Rome, for not wanting to hand the operation command over to NATO.

This apparent reluctance, the Osservatore said, "reveals all the political problems of this military operation which was begun by France in haste and without coordination."

"The attacks on Libya should bear in mind the Arab League's changed opinion," as well as "that of Great Britain, Belgium and Italy, who ask that NATO take control of the operation," it said.

US, French and British warplanes and warships have led the strikes against Moamer Kadhafi's regime since Saturday, but Britain, Canada, Italy and several other allies want NATO to take command of the operations.

Fighting continued to rage between forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and insurgents in several towns Tuesday despite the UN-mandated no-fly zone aimed at stopping the violence.

NATO ambassadors meeting in Brussels agreed to give the alliance a role in enforcing the UN embargo, but they were unable to reach an agreement on command of the operations.

It will take a few more days for NATO to decide whether to activate its participation in the no-fly zone, or take command of military operations.

Frustrated by the lack of decision, Italy has warned it could take back control of bases used by the coalition on its territory if NATO does not take over.

© 2011 AFP

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