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France joins UK in sending military officers to Libya

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France joins UK in sending military officers to Libya


France has confirmed that like Britain, it is to send a small number of officers to Libya to advise the National Transitional Council.

The news came as President Nicholas Sarkozy met the rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil in Paris, and promised that France would intensify air strikes against Colonel Gaddafi’s army. No details were given as to how this would happen.

The French government insists it will not send ground troops to Libya in whatever shape or form, despite appeals from Libyan rebels.

“We can’t please all the people all the time. It’s a real issue that merits international reflection and I won’t deal with it at the moment. Besides, I don’t have the mandate to do so. It’s a case for the UN Security Council,” said French Defence Minister Gérard Longuet.

Libya’s rebel movement has invited President Sarkozy to Benghazi to support the opposition.

Its leader pledged to build a democracy where the head of state would come to power “by the ballot box, not on top of a tank”.

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