France rules out Western military action in Libya
Western militaries will not be helping Libyan forces fight Islamist rebels, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday. (AFP/File)
Click here to add Islamist as an alert
Disable alert for Islamist,
Click here to add Laurent Fabius as an alert
Disable alert for Laurent Fabius,
Click here to add Libyan government as an alert
Disable alert for Libyan government,
Click here to add Muammar Gaddafi as an alert
Disable alert for Muammar Gaddafi,
Click here to add Rome as an alert
Disable alert for Rome,
Click here to add RTL as an alert
Disable alert for RTL
The announcement essentially rebuffs an appeal for intervention from neighboring Niger, but Fabius said the Western powers were drawing up plans to help the Libyan government deal with the issue.
“No, an intervention, no (that’s not being discussed),” Fabius told RTL radio. “But we are going to have an international meeting in Rome at the beginning of March to give Libya more help because it’s true that there are terrorists gathering in the south.
Fabius said Britain, Germany, the United States, Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia were all involved in talks on how to help Libya.
“We have to fight terrorism everywhere,” Fabius said. “That does not mean we have to have people on the ground, it means we have to help governments that want to get rid of terrorism, which is the case with the Libyan government.”
Niger last week called on the West to finish the job they started in Libya by dealing with the Islamists who have established bases in the south since the 2011 overthrow of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
A poor but mineral-rich former French colony, Niger has had to contend with numerous Islamist attacks and kidnappings on its own soil, some of which have threatened the security of its uranium production.
In an annual intelligence report published in December, the United States said southern Libya had become an “incubator” for terrorism in a “hothouse” region and described a possible intervention as “within the bounds of the possible,” according to Agence France-Presse.