France, Britain want strikes if Kadhafi bombs civilians

11th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

France and Britain favour targeted strikes in Libya in case Moamer Kadhafi uses chemical wepaons or air strikes against his people, President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday at an EU summit.

Sarkozy said Paris had "many reservations" on military or NATO intervention in Libya "because Arab revolutions belong to Arabs".

But he and British Prime Minister David Cameron were "ready, on condition that the UN wishes, that the Arab League accepts and (that) the Libyan opposition which we hope to see recognised, agrees, for targeted actions if Mr Kadhafi uses chemical weapons or air power against peaceful citizens".

Sarkozy also called on his European partners to follow France's lead and officially recognise the opposition against Kadhafi as the hard-pressed rebels in the east tried to counter a major offensive troops that had driven them back.

France on Thursday moved to recognise the rebels as the country's rightful representatives, sparking surprise among some of its European partners, including Germany, amid fears of getting dragged into a bloody civil war.

Combined with the possibility of military action, the summit is likely to prove contentious as leaders try to map out some common ground.

The conflict in Libya is destabilising the whole North African and Middle East region where popular unrest against long-established regimes has already ousted leaders in Egypt and Tunisia so far this year.

© 2011 AFP

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