Wednesday, March 30, 2011

'France ready to discuss arming Libyans'

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe

Source: Press TV

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe says France is ready to discuss arming Libyan revolutionaries with its coalition partners although this is not part of the United Nations resolution.

A new political contact group has been created comprising 20 countries and organizations and would meet next in Qatar, then Italy, Reuters quoted Juppe as saying after a meeting of foreign ministers and international organizations to discuss post-Gaddafi Libya in London on Tuesday.

"I remind you it is not part of the UN resolution, which France sticks to, but we are ready to discuss it (arming Libyan revolutionaries) with our partners," Juppe said.

When asked whether embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi should go into exile, the French foreign minister said there was no future for the Libyan leader in his country, but that it was up to the Libyan people to decide his fate.

During the London meeting on Tuesday, some 40 representatives from the UN, NATO, the African Union and the Arab League called on the 68-year-old Gaddafi to cede power.

British Foreign Minister William Hague, who chaired the conference, said the delegates "agreed that Gaddafi and his regime have completely lost legitimacy," as other leaders discussed to chalk out a plan for future of Libya.

The meeting was held against the backdrop of public outcry over the heavy bombings in Libya by French, British and the US warplanes that have reportedly claimed civilian lives in the country.

The Libyan regime says that at least 114 people, mostly civilians, have been killed and 445 others injured in the campaign of US-led military airstrikes in Libya since March 20.

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