29 MAR 2011
By Valentina Pop
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - More than 40 delegates from the anti-Gaddafi coalition, the EU, the UN, the Arab League and the African Union are meeting in London on Tuesday (29 March) to establish political 'guidance' and to generate wider support for the Libya operation before Nato takes over.
In a joint letter published ahead of the event, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron said the meeting will create "support for a new beginning for Libya."
"We emphasise that we do not envisage any military occupation of Libya," it added. "That is why the political process that will begin tomorrow in London is so important. The London conference will bring the international community together to support Libya's transition from violent dictatorship and to help create the conditions where the people of Libya can choose their own future."
Recognising the rebels' Benghazi-based Interim National Transitional Council as having a "pioneering role" in starting a "national political dialogue," Cameron and Sarkozy called on all Gaddafi followers "to leave him before it is too late."
They noted that the 11 days of air strikes have saved "hundreds of thousands of people from the brink of humanitarian disaster." But they noted that Libya still needs outside help to avert a "humanitarian crisis."
Nato will on Wednesday take over military command of the operation, which is to be renamed Unified Protector, despite Sarkozy's endeavours to play the leading role himself for as long as possible.
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Libya: Cameron and Sarkozy demand that 'Gaddafi must go'