France complains it and Britain doing bulk of Libya mission

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France's defence minister complained Tuesday that Paris and London have been left to carry out the bulk of NATO's military operation against Moamer Kadhafi's Libya.

"NATO is not able, at this point, to oblige our partners to take part in this action," Gerard Longuet told the French parliament, suggesting that some allies were not pulling their weight.

"I regret, for example, that France and Britain are carrying the bulk of the effort, even if the United States does continue to provide indispensable support in the airspace," he said.

"Today we have no support in the ground attack role, without which there's no chance of breaking the siege of towns like Misrata or Zenten," he said, referring to two rebel-held towns under bombardment by Kadhafi's forces.

The United States took part in the first Franco-British led air raids against Kadhafi's forces last month, but since then Washington and other NATO allies have been reluctant to commit ground attack jets.

© 2011 AFP

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