France: No need to extend NATO's Libya mission

AP News
Posted: Oct 27, 2011 4:17 AM
France: No need to extend NATO's Libya mission

France's defense minister says he doesn't see a need to extend NATO's mission in Libya, now that Moammar Gadhafi is dead and a new government is in charge.

Gerard Longuet says that the international community should still help the new Libyan leadership but with a new mandate, focusing on political instead of military support.

NATO last week announced preliminary plans to wind down the bombing campaign Oct. 31, but then on Wednesday unexpectedly postponed a definitive decision amid continuing consultations with the U.N. and the country's interim government.

Longuet said on France-Info radio Thursday, "I don't exactly understand the need" to keep the operation going. He said the mission is continuing surveillance but is already "being dismantled rather quickly."