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Published on March 10, 2011
Reply given by Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly

Paris, March 8, 2011

Mme Martinez, I share your concern about the situation in Libya. By cracking down with unacceptable brutality on the movements hostile to him, Colonel Gaddafi has lost all legitimacy: he must go.

I remind you that France was one of the first powers to tell him this so clearly. We then worked at the United Nations and in Brussels to ensure swift and robust sanctions were imposed. I find it hard to understand why there’s such a lot of clamour over the situation in Libya; it escapes me… It concerns the lives and deaths of thousands of people!

So we worked at the United Nations and in Brussels to ensure swift and robust sanctions were imposed. We also mobilized major humanitarian aid with our partners: two French convoys have already arrived in Benghazi, and we’re taking part in the airlift that is enabling Egyptians to be taken back to their country of origin. A French ship is also available at the Tunisian border to contribute to this.

It’s now a question of stopping the bloody crackdown being pursued by Colonel Gaddafi’s regime. France has taken a very clear position: NATO isn’t the right organization to do it. We need a United Nations mandate.
We’re prepared to intervene, with others, to protect the people by blocking Gaddafi from using his aircraft. Finally, it’s necessary to do so in full coordination with the Arab League and the African Union. That’s what we’re working on.

At the European Council on Friday, which will be devoted exclusively to the situation in Libya and south of the Mediterranean, France will make strong proposals.

During my visit to Egypt, my conviction that France has a specific role to play was strengthened: people are waiting for her. And we’ll accept our responsibilities./.

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