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Libya mission to last weeks, not months: France

Posted by on March 24, 2011 0 Comment

Paris, March 24 (IANS/AKI) French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Thursday that the international military action against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi may last weeks, but will not turn into a protracted war.

“The destruction of Gaddafi’s military capacity is a matter of days or weeks, certainly not months,” Juppe told reporters in Paris Thursday. “You can’t expect us to achieve our objective in just five days.”

France was the first country to recognize Libyan opposition as the rightful rulers of the north African country. It also led the push for the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone in Libya to prevent Gaddafi’s forces from attacking civilians.

French warplanes Saturday were the first to conduct sorties over Libya. But five days of military action by France, the US, Britain and Italy has failed to dislodge Gaddafi from 41 years of autocratic power.

Juppe said the Libyan campaign should serve as a warning to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East that their leaders must come to terms with the fact that changes arising from uprisings in the region are permanent.

“The process going on in the Arab world is irreversible. People’s aspirations must be taken into consideration everywhere, including in Saudi Arabia,” he said.


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