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Libya War:France to proceed with military operation in Libya

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Laaska News  July 13,2011
Ilya Kharlamov

French lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to extend funding for France’s military operation in Libya until the Gaddafi regime is toppled.

Under the French law, a decision on military intervention is made by the government and the president personally. Four months later the parliament is due to discuss whether it is necessary to proceed with the operation. Despite facing harsh criticism for his country’s participation in the Libya operation, the French Prime Minister Francois Fillon urged the parliament ‘to be firmer than ever’ while deciding on Libya in view of the fact that Gaddafi`s army is no longer that strong and a ‘political solution to the crisis is beginning to take shape’. Mr. Fillon told the lawmakers that they should help the Libyan nation and make their dream come true:

“We all should unite to support the Libyan nation and help them turn their dream of a free and democratic Libya into reality. I am now addressing the opposition, hoping that they will do their best to topple the Gaddafi regime.”

Members of the ruling The Union for a Popular Movement party, as well as the Socialist Party unanimously backed the government`s initiative to extend the Libya operation. Frenchsocialist Bernard Cazeneuvenoted that if the operation in Libya is halted, “Gaddafi will take this as a signal to return and kill more people”. However, he added that he and his colleagues in the Socialist Party would like the government to resume discussions on Libya in September unless the operation is over by the time.

The Republican Party and the Communists voted against the operation. Jean-Jacques Candelier of the Republican Party described the operation as France`s political and military failure and called for “diplomacy without bombs”.

Before the voting the French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said in a radio interview: “Everybody is in contact with everybody. The Libyan regime is sending messengers everywhere, to Turkey, New York, Paris. Emissaries are telling us Gaddafi is ready to go.”

In an interview with El Khabar Gaddafi`s son Saif al-Islam had earlier said that his father’s administration was holding talks with France. So, Mr. Juppe became the first high-ranking official to confirm this information.

Reports said earlier that Gaddafi was ready to step down in exchange for security guarantees provided by France. However, this information was later denied in Tripoli.

In an interview with the Voice of Russia’s bureau in Washington on Tuesday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Gaddafi has no place in the new Libya:

“Well, we agree, as I said, that he must go, he has no place in the new Libya, and the rest is subject to discussion. And first of all it will be for Libyans themselves, I heard the views of Benghazi people expressed informally that they would be prepared to discuss a compromise, whereby Gaddafi would stay at an agreed place, probably in Libya itself, which will be provided with some subsistence. Of course he is under the International Criminal Court verdict, but again we have to think not about formalities but about the future of Libya and of the fastest way to stop the violence. We have some encouraging signs that both Tripoli and Benghazi are discussing now specific terms of introducing something like administrative mechanism for preparing for the transition. So we will be only gratified if this succeeds.”

Speaking to the VOR, Mr. Lavrov also mentioned that the Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev had repeatedly made initiatives on supporting the mediation efforts on the African Union, the UN. Last week he had a meeting in Sochi with South African President Jacob Zuma, who presented the African Union plan which focuses on the creation of some administrative mechanisms which would open the way for full-fledged discussions of the future state of Libya.

Francois Fillon. Photo: RIA Novosti 


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