French FM "totally hostile" to ground force deployment to Libya

08:31, April 20, 2011      

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French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Tuesday that he was "totally hostile" to the idea of deploying ground force to Libya, stressing it's the responsibility of the rebels to guide the NATO bombards against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"For my part I remain totally opposed to deployment of forces on the ground," he was cited by local media as saying.

He made the statement at a meeting with local press association in Paris when asked to comment on a recent proposal by some French lawmaker that a 200-300-men special troop was in need on the ground to help Libyan rebels and to guide the coalition operation in targeting Gaddafi's force.

On Sunday, French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet estimated longer period of the foreign military operation in Libya as limited information on the objectives identified in the ground made the situation too complicated to have a quick ending.

The top French diplomat insisted that the National Transitional Council (NTC) and its troops should take the charge to do the ground job. "They can play this role without the need to deploy ground forces,\" Juppe said.

On March 19, France initiated the foreign intervention to create a no-fly zone in Libya backed by a UN resolution, which clearly ruled out the legitimacy of sending foreign ground troops in the African oil exporter's territory.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet Wednesday with the president of Libyan Council of National Transition, Moustapha Abdeljalil, at the Elysee Palace, the presidency said earlier in a statement.

Source: Xinhua
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