Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • US aid drops begin in besieged Iraqi town of Amerli

    Read more

  • Filipino UN troops escape Islamists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Algerian diplomats held by Islamists are freed in Mali

    Read more

  • EU mulls Russia sanctions as Kiev warns of 'full-scale war'

    Read more

  • Pakistani protesters clash with police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • UK boy with brain tumour found in Spain, parents held

    Read more

  • Poland's Tusk, Italy's Mogherini set for top EU jobs

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialists' annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • South Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

France

French parliament debates Libyan military mission

Video by Catherine NORRIS TRENT

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-03-22

Three days after the start of the international military mission over Libya, the French parliament is debating the commitment of French forces abroad as mandated by French law.

As French military planes enforce a UN-mandated no-fly zone over Libya, France’s parliament on Tuesday debates the country’s involvement in the military intervention in the North African nation. But with France’s main opposition parties largely backing French military involvement in an international mission over Libya, the debate is not expected to spark much controversy.

As the first and only country in the world to recognize the Libyan opposition’s National Transition Council, France took a leading role in pushing for a no-fly zone to contain Muammar Gaddafi’s air power and stop the Libyan leader from targeting civilians.

The resulting UN resolution 1973, which was passed last week, gives the international community wide scope to use "all necessary means" to protect civilians.

Under French law, the executive branch must inform parliament about the government’s move to commit French troops abroad.

Parliamentary approval however is not mandated under French law and Tuesday’s sessions in the upper and lower houses are not expected to spark much controversy.

French political opinion has been largely behind President Nicolas Sarkozy’s deployment of forces to aid the international mission in Libya.

Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin – a Sarkozy rival who broke ranks with the ruling UMP party to form his own party, Republique Solidaire, last year – has welcomed France’s involvement in Libya. In an interview published on Sunday in the weekly newspaper, Le Journal du Dimanche, Villepin supported the French military initiative against Gaddafi.

France’s main opposition Socialist Party has also supported UN Resolution 1973.

At the extreme ends of the political spectrum though, hardline left and right parties have voiced opposition to the intervention. “This is an act of war,” said Marine Le Pen, the new leader of the far right Front National party. “It will not solve the problem, which is one of long-term civil war”.

Sarkozy’s lead role in calling for an international containment of Gaddafi contrasts sharply with his government’s response to the popular uprising in Tunisia, a former French colony whose success in ousting longstanding former dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali is credited with sparking a similar movement in Egypt and across large swathes of the Arab world.

The French failure to respond to Tunisia, coupled with multiple gaffes by former French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, resulted in the seasoned French politician’s resignation from the post. Her successor, current French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has led Sarkozy’s move for a UN resolution on Libya and represented France during last Thursday’s Security Council session when resolution 1973 was passed.

 

Date created : 2011-03-22

  • LIBYA - DIPLOMACY

    With Libya response, France takes high-stakes step into spotlight

    Read more

  • DIPLOMACY

    France and UK spearhead 'no-fly zone' in Libya

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French diplomacy's ghastly new year

    Read more

COMMENT(S)