Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France commemorates a hero of the left

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Diplomatic strain for John Kerry

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Germany and Russia 'discuss secret Ukraine deal'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Fake Twitter accounts spread Chinese propaganda

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina set for deeper recession after default

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Former WHO Deputy Regional Director for Africa

Read more

  • Paris hosts first pro-Israel rally since start of Gaza offensive

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new game plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Israel calls up 16,000 more reservists as Gaza death toll soars

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 crash site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with creditors

    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)