France - Libya

European, Arab leaders agree on Libyan air strikes, says Sarkozy

Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Saturday that European and Arab leaders are prepared to enforce the UN Security Council resolution authorising military action to stop Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s attacks on civilians. He said this at the conclusion of an international summit on the Libyan crisis being held in Paris attended by world leaders and foreign ministers.

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“The participants have agreed to apply all necessary means, in particular military ones, to respect the decisions of the UN Security Council,” he said in a televised press conference following the summit.

“Air forces will fight aggression of Colonel Kadhafi against the population of Benghazi,” he said, adding that French planes are already preventing air attacks on the city.

Earlier, there were reports that French fighter jets have been flying over Libya on Saturday on reconnaisance missions.

Sarkozy added that the planes are in place not just to enforce a no-fly zone over the country, but would hit tanks aiming at civilians.

"Other French planes are ready to intervene on tanks that are threatening unarmed civilians," he said.

“Today we are intervening in Libya with a mandate of the Security Council of the United Nations, and with notably our Arab partners, to protect the population from the deadly madness of a regime… that has lost any legitimacy,” he said, adding that the people themselves much chose their own government.

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