French foreign minister to London for Libya talks on Monday

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French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe is to travel to London on Monday for talks with his British counterpart William Hague expected to be dominated by the rebellion in Libya, his ministry said.

The two countries are spearheading NATO's military operations in Libya against forces loyal to strongman ruler Moamer Kadhafi that were launched in March in accordance with a UN Security Council resolution.

The allies are demanding that Kadhafi leave power before ending their military operations that are dragging on longer than expected.

Juppe this week mooted the possibility of Kadhafi staying in Libya provided he quit politics.

"One of the possibilities being considered is that he stay in Libya but on the clear condition that he steps aside from Libyan political life," Juppe said on Wednesday.

"That is what we are waiting for before we start the political process for a ceasefire."

The partners will also likely discuss the notion of a permanent European Union military headquarters in Brussels, an idea fervently supported by France but which Hague on Monday said Britain would never agree to.

© 2011 AFP

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