The French government was the first to recognize Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council as Gadhafi’s legitimate replacement–now Sarkozy is going one step further.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the French President is set to meet with Libya’s rebel forces.
“Foreign Affairs Minister Alain Juppe said in a press conference the French government wants to hold a meeting of the contact group ‘at the highest level’ in Paris as soon as next week to discuss the situation following the entry of Libyan rebels in Tripoli and the support to bring to transitional authorities in Libya to build democracy there.
‘The [National] Transitional Council will need the international community’s support and aid and we are determined to commit to its support,’ Juppe said. ‘Libya has resources and is a potentially rich country and needs help to foster a democratic and prosperous future.’”
According the the WSJ, Juippe has high hopes for the meeting. He’s hoping players including the United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League, the African Union and the U.S. will all put in their two cents and create a new plan for reconstructing the country.
NTC leader Mahmoud Jibril will likely speak with Sarkozy within the week, and is also scheduled to talk with British PM David Cameron.
This comes after NTC forces seized control of Tripoli late last week.
Voices of America has more reaction from the international community:
“The European Union, Britain and Italy all have said Mr. Gadhafi’s rule is coming to an end, and they urged the Libyan leader to step down in order to avoid more bloodshed. China said Monday it ‘respects the choice of the Libyan people’ and hopes stability returns to the country quickly.
South Africa said it is not supporting the rebels, and it refuted reports that it had sent a plane to Libya to evacuate Mr. Gadhafi. Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said Mr. Gadhafi has not and will not ask for asylum in South Africa.”
Read more about French foreign policy in the Carnet Atlantique.