Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Togo : will president Faure Gnassingbe win a third 5-year term ?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Controversy reigns 100 years after the Armenian genocide

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Migrant Deaths: Politicians Divided after Emergency EU Summit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The G-Word: Turkey and the Armenian Genocide

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

What will the new French healthcare bill change?

Read more

#TECH 24

Space Special: Happy Birthday, Hubble!

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Meeting Marseille's Armenian community

Read more

REPORTERS

Saving French soldiers' WWI trench carvings

Read more

ENCORE!

Armenia, 100 years on

Read more

Africa

Libya military option needs more time, says British diplomat

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-07-11

Reacting to growing French impatience at the pace of the conflict in Libya, Britain’s former ambassador to Tripoli insists that the military operation "is working" and should be allowed to follow its course.

Britain’s former ambassador to Libya has expressed surprise that France had called on the Libyan Transitional National Council to negotiate with Muammer Gaddafi’s regime.

Sir Richard Dalton, who was the UK envoy to Tripoli from 1999 to 2002, told FRANCE 24 he was buffled that France, which was one of the keenest to start military action against Gaddafi, appeared to be “blowing hot then cold” and losing patience with the progress of the conflict.

French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet told BFM TV on Sunday that the allies had “stopped the hand that was striking” against the rebels, and that “now was the time to sit down at the negotiating table”.

Asked if there could be negotiations even if Gaddafi remained in the country, he said: “He would simply be in another room in his palace and holding a different title.”

Dalton, an associate fellow at the London-based think tank Chatham House, was unequivocal. “The military option is working,” he told France 24. “But it is going to take more time. It would be very unfortunate if the French are now developing a separate line.

“Some form of negotiations may be necessary – but I don’t yet see enough military pressure on Gaddafi to see a successful outcome to any such negotiations.”

Dalton added that Longuet’s suggestion that Gaddafi could eventually stay in Libya during any negotiations was totally unrealistic.

“This whole revolution is about the presence of Muammer Gaddafi in Libya. To suggest that he could remain during negotiations is a serious disservice to the TNC,” he said.

Paris has denied claims made on Monday by Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, in an interview with Algerian newspaper El Khabar, that Paris had been in negotiations with the Gaddafi regime.

A foreign ministry spokesman said that France had been “sending messages” to the Tripoli-based government through its allies but did not give further details.

The French National Assembly is due to vote Tuesday on continuing its military commitment in Libya. 

Date created : 2011-07-11

  • LIBYA

    Paris calls on rebels to negotiate with regime

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Gaddafi regime 'in talks with France', says Saif al-Islam

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Gaddafi warns Europe of looming 'catastrophe'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)