French minister says "Gaddafi must go" call oversteps UN mandate

Other News Materials 15 April 2011 15:14 (UTC +04:00)

France's Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said Friday that the joint declaration by the leaders of the United States, Britain and France, that Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi "must go" was "certainly" overstepping the United Nations mandate on Libya, DPA reported.

Longuet was asked on France's LCI television whether the declaration by US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy went further than authorized by UN resolution 1973, which gave the green light for foreign military intervention in Libya.

"(Further) than resolution 1973, certainly, it did not speak about Gaddafi's future," Longuet said.

"But I think three major countries saying the same thing, it's important for the United Nations and maybe one day the (UN) Security Council will take a (new) resolution," he said.

While some countries such as Russia, China and Brazil would "naturally drag their feet" on a new resolution "no major country" could countenance a head of state using heavy weapons against his population, Longuet said.

UN resolution 1973 gave the international coalition engaged in Libya the power "to take all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians from attack and ordered the imposition of a no-fly zone over the country.

In their statement, published in US, French and British newspapers Friday, Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy acknowledged that the UN's instructions were "not to remove Gaddafi by force."

"But it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Gaddafi in power," the leaders wrote, adding that for a political transition to succeed, "Gaddafi must go and go for good."