'Kadhafi and his clique must go': Britain and France

10th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

France and Britain on Thursday agreed that Libya strongman Moamer Kadhafi "must go" and called on the EU to consider the country's rebel national council a valid political interlocutor, Sarkozy's office said.

"To stop further suffering of the Libyan people, Muammar Gaddafi and his clique should leave," French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a joint letter to European Union president Herman Von Rompuy.

France earlier recognised the rebels as the country's rightful representatives.

Sarkozy made the move as the EU leadership hesitated to recognise the rebels, ahead of a summit to discuss the conflict between loyalists of the Libyan leader and rebel forces.

"We support the efforts of the Libyan Interim Transitional National Council to prepare for a representative and accountable government," Cameron and Sarkozy said in their letter.

"We should send the clear political signal that we consider the Council to be valid political interlocutors, and an important voice for the Libyan people in this phase."

They said that since the beginning of the uprising in Libya against Kadhafi's "brutal regime, the world is witnessing on a daily basis an unacceptable continuation of violence and repression"

"Ignoring UN Security Council resolution 1970 demands as well as calls from regional organisations and the whole international community, Kadhafi's regime continues to attack his own people including with aircraft and helicopters.

"It is clear to us that the regime has lost any legitimacy it may have once had."

Cameron and Sarkozy said the Libyan leader's "deliberate use of military force against civilians is utterly unacceptable.

"As warned by the Security Council, these acts may amount to crimes against humanity. All those involved in deciding, planning or executing such actions must know that they will be held accountable."

They said that Britain and France were "committed to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya.

"We support the Libyan peoples desire to choose their own leadership and to decide their own political system. We welcome the formation of an Interim Transitional National Council based in Benghazi and we are engaging with the Council and its members to develop a cooperative dialogue.

"When the Libyan people win their fundamental rights, we should be ready to support them with the necessary assistance and cooperation, in order to promote stability and development in Libya, for the benefit of all Libyans."

They said they "condemn, and call for an immediate halt to, the use of force against civilians by the Kadhafi regime.

"We support continued planning to be ready to provide support for all possible contingencies as the situation evolves on the basis of demonstrable need, a clear legal basis and firm regional support.

"This could include a no-fly zone or other options against air attacks, working with Allies and partners, especially those in the region.

They called "upon the UN to evaluate and closely monitor the humanitarian situation in Libya, and to make proposals to ensure full access for humanitarian organisations and assistance to displaced people.

Britain and France also "call on all countries to implement fully the arms embargo, including banning the provision of armed mercenary personnel and to take measures to discourage such recruitments, or departure of planes or convoys to that end, and we stand ready to co-operate with them in this regard".

"Regarding displaced persons outside Libya, should the situation deteriorate, we should all be ready to act through further financial and material assistance, including military assets, in cooperation with international organisations and countries concerned."

© 2011 AFP

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