France plans Libya transition conference

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France said Tuesday it plans a conference of "friends of Libya" to work on political transition in the country, where it backs the rebels fighting against long-term ruler Moamer Kadhafi.

"France will in the coming weeks hold a big conference of friends of Libya to build a future for the country," French President Nicolas Sarkozy was quoted as saying in an interview in Wednesday's edition of L'Express magazine.

The conference will gather "all the political elements" of Libya, "including if necessary members from the Kadhafi regime on condition that they have broken away from him and do not have blood on their hands," Sarkozy added.

"If we want to isolate Kadhafi and speed up the joining of the Transitional National Council, we must demonstrate openness" to former regime members, he said.

He did not specify the planned date or location of the conference.

© 2011 AFP

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