French foreign minister opposes ground troops in Libya
Alain Juppe said that he was hostile to idea of sending troops into Libya.
Paris: French Foreign Minister Alain
Juppe said Tuesday that he was "entirely hostile" to the idea of
sending coalition ground troops into Libya, even special
forces to guide air strikes.
Juppe made the comments at a lunch with reporters in
Paris even as France`s chief ally in the conflict, Britain,
said it was sending military trainers and after a senior
French lawmaker called for commandos to be sent in.
"I remain, for my part, entirely hostile to the
deployment of forces on the ground," Juppe said, adding that
Libya`s rebel movement should remain in charge of fighting
Moamer Gaddafi`s loyalist forces on the ground.
Juppe brushed off a call from Axel Poniatowski, the
influential chairman of the French parliament`s foreign
affairs committee, for allied special forces to be sent to
Libya to guide coalition special forces.
"It is for the Transitional National Council (TNC) and
its troops to do this work," he said, at a briefing for
diplomatic correspondents. "They can play this role without it
being necessary to send in ground troops."
He also played down reports that French troops were
already liaising with TNC commanders at their Benghazi
headquarters, insisting that there was only a small French
security team in the city to protect the French envoy.