French Senate approves extension of military intervention in Libya

10:46, July 13, 2011      

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French Senate, the upper house of the parliament approved Tuesday evening to prolong the military intervention in Libya in the wake of the green light given by the lower house National Assembly earlier in the afternoon.

With 311 "yes" votes and 24 against, senators, including a large majority of the ruling party UMP and the main opposition Socialist, let pass the bill proposed by French government authorizing the four-month long military intervention to continue in Libya.

According to French constitution amended in 2008, France's parliamentary commission has to examine any military operation of French troops if their mission exceeds four months.

Before the parliament started debate over the continuation of the operation, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon appealed the legislators to agree with the government, noting a political solution was "beginning to take shape" though the intervention against the forces of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had seen no quick end.

Early in the day, French National Assembly has approved the bill with 482 deputies voting for and 27 against the decision.

Since France took the lead in launching air strikes against pro-Gaddafi troops on March 19, around 4,400 soldiers, 40 fighting jets, 8 vessels and 18 helicopters were mobilized by the country in the coalition operation initiated also by Britain, according to official data.

If the operation in Libya isn't over by September, French government will face another round of debate in front of the parliament on the issue.

Source: Xinhua
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