European leaders squabble over who's in charge on Libya
French President Sarkozy has been at odds with most European leaders on the question of what leadership role NATO should have in Libya.
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But the NATO decision disappointed France, which has been at odds with most of NATO over the alliance's role in Libya. Mr. Sarkozy has opposed giving NATO command of even the no-fly zone, while other allies have pushed for NATO to control the entire action.
“The use of NATO structures is not a problem,” said Sarkozy, seeming to put to rest the squabbles. But then Sarkozy also said, "It would be playing into the hands of Colonel Qaddafi to say NATO is taking over,” adding, "NATO cannot swallow the United Arab Emirates and Qatar."
No wonder there will be a special conference in London Tuesday to finalize the details on Operation Odyssey Dawn, which has just concluded its first week of using "all necessary means” to protect civilians in Libya.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said he jogged in a Brussels park Friday morning with Sarkozy and has said from the start that all operations on Libya will be handled by NATO, said, “Europe has really come together on Libya," and remarked that the coalition has accomplished a great deal in a short time.
He repeated his desire that Qaddafi “leave" and accused Qaddafi of “lying” to the international community when, on the verge of taking Benghazi last week, was “breaching a cease-fire that he announced." Mr. Cameron urged those in Qaddafi circles to cease supporting him. “Don’t obey his orders, walk away from your tanks.”
The Americans who helped launch the operation visibly struggled this week to hand off responsibility to a coherent coalition. They have done so, following negotiations by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, and are in a de facto three-way command with the French and the British.