French Reauthorize Libya Bombing; Juppé Says Gadhafi Is Ready To Leave
French lawmakers voted 482-27 to reauthorize the bombing mission in Libya. The vote was required by the constitution and came after a three-hour debate in the lower house of parliament.
But perhaps the more interesting news to come out of France is that Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said France has been talking to "emissaries" of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. The New York Times reports:
"Ending the crisis entails the departure of Qaddafi from power," Mr. Juppé told France Info radio. "This was absolutely not a given two or three months ago."
"The question is no longer to know if Qaddafi must leave, but when and how," he added. Representatives sent by Colonel Qaddafi have indicated that "Qaddafi is ready to leave" and have called for negotiations, he said, but denied a claim that those negotiations might directly involve France.
In an interview Monday in the Algerian newspaper El Khabar, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, Colonel Qaddafi's powerful second-eldest son, said the regime was holding "real negotiations with France and not with the rebels."