France - Libya

Paris hosts conference for Libya

Reuters/Louafi Larbi

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron are jointly hosting a "Friends of Libya" conference, which opened on Thursday in Paris.


Leaders, foreign ministers and officials from 60 states are taking part in the event, including many countries who did not support Nato's military intervention in Libya.

Britain and France will officially welcome Libya's National Transitional Council onto the international stage, and urge practical measures such as the unfreezing of Libyan assets.

Moamer Kadhafi's money was spread in accounts and investments around the world.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé announced on Thursday that Paris is to unblock 1.5 billion euros in frozen Libyan assets, following Washington's decision to unfreeze money held there.

The NTC say they need five billion dollars to set up a stable government.

Both China and Russia were lukewarm about Nato air strikes to protect civilians threatened by Kadhafi, but both have representatives at the conference and are likely to contribute to rebuilding Libya.

The African Union has yet to recognised the NTC, partly because of concerns voiced by South Africa, which declined France's invitation to take part in today's forum.

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