Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Nicole Kidman, Queen of the festival

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Abdelamadjid is the new Algerian Tebboune Prime Minister

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's Handshake Showdown

Read more

THE DEBATE

Trump at NATO: What future for the Atlantic Alliance? (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Trump at NATO: What future for the Atlantic Alliance? (part 1)

Read more

FOCUS

Life after IS group: Young Iraqis learn to live together in Kirkuk

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Robert Pattinson stars in Safdie brothers heist 'Good Time'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Trump on 'learning curve' but poll numbers 'will go up'

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Is Venezuela on the verge of anarchy?

Read more

Africa

Sarkozy vows to ramp up air strikes on Gaddafi forces

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-04-20

President Nicolas Sarkozy announced on Wednesday that France will increase air strikes on Muammar Gaddafi's army following a meeting with Libyan rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil at the Elysée Palace.

REUTERS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised Libyan rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil on Wednesday that France would intensify air strikes on Muammar Gaddafi’s army, the president’s office said in a statement.

It gave no detail on how the strikes would be ramped up.

“We are indeed going to intensify the attacks and respond to this request from the national transition council,” the Elysee Palace said in a statement after Sarkozy met Abdel Jalil in Paris, their first face-to-face meeting.

“The President said ‘We will help you’”, the Elysee said.

Abdel Jalil said he had invited Sarkozy to visit the eastern rebel-held city of Benghazi to demonstrate France’s support for the rebels’ efforts to end Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year rule. The Elysee did not say whether Sarkozy had accepted.

“I think that would be extremely important for the moral of the revolution,” Abdel Jalil told reporters outside the Elysee.

Sarkozy, who has been at the forefront of the West’s military intervention in Libya, was the first foreign leader to formally back the rebel opposition and has stayed in close contact with the group’s leaders by telephone in recent weeks.

The rebels have urged the West to ramp up its military campaign to try and break a deadlock in the conflict and halt attacks on the besieged city of Misrata, where hundreds have been killed in recent weeks.

France and Britain said this week they will place military liaison officers with the rebels to advice leaders on strategy.

Abdel Jalil said the rebels pledge to try and build a democracy in Libya so that the head of state would come to power “by the ballot box, not atop a tank”.

In Gaddafi's stronghold, supporters rally to his cause

His meeting with Sarkozy came amid a stalemate in eastern Libya, with the rebel-held cities of Benghazi and Misrata stuck under siege by Gaddafi’s army.

Nine weeks after the rebellion broke out, NATO air strikes have failed to halt attacks on Misrata and have not gone beyond evening the balance of power between the two sides.
 

Date created : 2011-04-20

  • LIBYA

    Gaddafi's son ‘very optimistic’ of victory

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    UN opens humanitarian corridor in western Libya

    Read more

  • FRANCE 24 EXCLUSIVE - LIBYA

    Defiant rebels fend off Gaddafi forces in Misrata

    Read more

COMMENT(S)