Sarkozy: France Air Force to Counter Gaddafi Aggression

World | March 19, 2011, Saturday // 17:10|  views

French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Photo by EPA/BGNES

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said France has already taken action against Libya, CNN reported.

"Our air force will oppose any aggression by Colonel Gaddafi against the population of Benghazi," said Sarkozy, speaking after an international, top-level meeting in Paris over the Libyan crisis.

"As of now, our aircraft are preventing planes from attacking the town," he said. "As of now, our aircraft are prepared to intervene against tanks."

Sarkozy said Gaddafi still has time to stop its activities. But he said that "if there's not an immediate cease-fire and withdrawal of the forces that have been attacking civilian populations in the last few weeks, our countries will have recourse to military means."

Sarkozy said Libya's population "must not be deprived of its rights by violence and terror."

"There is still time for Colonel Gadhafi to avoid the worst, by complying immediately and unreservedly with all the demands of the international community. The doors of diplomacy will open once again when the aggression stops."

Asked whether the decision to carry out bombing against Libyan forces could begin immediately after Saturday's session ends, a senior State Department official told CNN:

"In terms of when the bombing starts, I'll leave that for others to lay out at the appropriate time."

"Everybody recognizes the urgency," he said.


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Tags: UN Security Council, UN, canada, Italy, Germany, France, Britain, UK, USA, Benghazi, rebels, Gaddafi, Muammar, no-fly zone, Libya, military action, Paris, summit, NATO, French, Libyan, Nicolas, Sarkozy, France


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