Gaddafi dead: Libya over, Syria next, says France
Posted on: 09:52 PM IST Oct 21, 2011
New Delhi: With NATO operations in Libya coming to an end with the killing of Muammar Gaddafi, France on Friday suggested Syria could be the next target as it pushed for UN taking the "responsibilities" and sanction the "bloody repression".
However, France did not intend to launch unilateral military action against Syria but strictly follow international law in this regard, informed French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe.
With the death of Gaddafi, NATO operations in Libya can be considered over and the new government there was in control of the entire country, Juppe said.
"Turning to Syria, given the crimes against humanity committed by the Gaddafi regime, France is asking the UN Security Council to assume its responsibilities and sanction the bloody repression," he said in a speech at the French Embassy in New Delhi.
"I hope we will soon reach an agreement on multilateral action that can step up pressure on the Syrian regime," Juppe said.
He said some fear that this may open the door for unilateral military action but "it is in no way our intention".
"When France and its allies take military action, it is in strict accordance with international law," Juppe said.
On Gadaffi's killing, he said "our target was not to kill Gadaffi. We had asked him to relinquish power. It was then up to the Libyans to judge him. But things developed the other way," he said.
He said it would be for the National Transition Council to decide whether it wants to have a UN peacekeeping force stationed in Libya.