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Sarkozy urges 'political' coordination in Libya campaign

world Updated: Mar 25, 2011 08:52 IST
AFP
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said coordination of the international campaign in Libya must "remain eminently political" even if NATO takes military command of operations.

"Operational, technical coordination will be at NATO level, but political coordination... will be at the level of the coalition" launched by the United States, Britain and France, he said at a European Union summit on Thursday.

"Everyone must understand that coordination must remain eminently political even if it rests on NATO machinery," Sarkozy said at a briefing closing a first day of talks at the two-day summit.

That would enable non-NATO members, such as Arab partners, to take part in political decision-making, he said.

Citing Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which have pledged aircraft to support the Libya campaign, he said: "They will have to participate in the coalition's political coordination."

NATO members on Thursday agreed to enforce a UN-mandated no-fly zone but shied clear of offensive military action.

Sarkozy said the six-day military campaign had prevented "thousands and thousands" of deaths.

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