Merkel surprised at French recognition of Libya opposition

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday expressed surprise at France's recognition of Libya's opposition national council and warned against the "use of military means" to target Moamer Kadhafi's regime.

"Merkel is surprised that France has recognised the national council," said a statement issued by the German lower house of parliament

"This is not a recognition in international law," Merkel was quoted as saying, adding that "there has been a series of French initiatives which have not been known until very recently."

The statement said Merkel underlined the "scepticism of the German government over the use of military means in Libya."

France on Thursday moved to recognise the rebels as the country's rightful representatives.

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

© 2011 AFP

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