France against any pause in Libya campaign: foreign ministry

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France is against any pause in military operations against Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi, the foreign ministry said Wednesday, after NATO ally Italy urged a "suspension of hostilities".

"The coalition and the countries that met as the Abu Dhabi contact group two weeks ago were unanimous on the strategy: we must intensify the pressure on Kadhafi," ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.

"Any pause is operations would risk allowing him to play for time and to reorganise. In the end, it would be the civilian population that would suffer from the smallest sign of weakness on our behalf," he said.

Earlier, Italy had broken ranks with its NATO allies fighting an air war against Kadhafi's forces, with Foreign Minister Franco Frattini calling for "an immediate humanitarian suspension of hostilities".

© 2011 AFP

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