BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Ex French army chief: "the Libyans must find a solution"

Now Reading:

Ex French army chief: "the Libyans must find a solution"

Text size Aa Aa

NATO members have been holding talks about taking command of the no-fly zone over Libya.

Washington, London and Paris agreed on Tuesday that the alliance should play a key operational role, although a deal still has to be reached, largely due to Turkish reservations.

To evaluate the situation, euronews interviewed Admiral Jacques Lanxade, former chief of defence of the French armed forces, and former ambassador to Tunisia.

Pierre Assémat, euronews:

Paris talks of a technical role for NATO. Why has (agreement) taken so much time?

Admiral Jacques Lanxade:

I believe that the French position, but equally that of several other countries, was that NATO has an image in the Arab world which is an aggressive image – one of western nations against developing countries – which is a great exaggeration. So the idea was that this coalition was needed: that is a coalition of the international community comprising not only western forces but also Arab countries. So NATO didn’t seem to France to be very appropriate.

Pierre Assémat, euronews:

Admiral, it’s very easy to start a war, it’s harder to end one. And it seems hard to imagine the Libyan regime collapsing from within. In your view what strategy is the international coalition going to pursue?

Admiral Jacques Lanxade:

My personal feeling is that we have two scenarios before us. The first being that Gaddafi, pushed by his entourage perhaps, leaves power – and today we hear about negotiations which are already underway for the “guide to the Libyan revolution” – as he calls himself – to go. I am not sure that things will happen like that. The other scenario unfortunately is that of the status quo, which means a partition of the country. Between on one side Cyrenaica under the control of the opposition – and Tripolitania under the control of the Gaddafi clan. I fear that the second scenario is the more probable.

Pierre Assémat, euronews:

Now that the exclusion zone is in place, should (the coalition) launch a ground offensive?

Admiral Jacques Lanxade:

There should certainly not be a ground offensive, besides the United Nations resolution did not authorise one and I think that it would be extremely dangerous to do it. I think that it’s now up to the Libyans to find a solution, in other words for the opposition to see whether it’s in a position to shove events along and make sure that Gaddafi leaves, because there’ll be no definitive solution with Gaddafi in power.

Pierre Assémat, euronews:

Can we envisage an indirect attack by the international community against Colonel Gaddafi, since a direct one is not allowed under the United Nations mandate?

Admiral Jacques Lanxade:

I don’t believe that Gaddafi can be hit, he is extremely careful, he has underground bunkers. It’s possible to get rid of certain things around him, and make his situation more difficult, but physically I think that barring an accident, it’s very difficult to hit him.