Tripoli Freezes Ties with Paris, Sarkozy Promises EU-AU-Arab League Summit on Libya


Libya decided on Friday to "suspend" diplomatic relations with France, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaaim said at a press conference.

The Libyan government has slammed what it called France's "illegal" decision on Thursday to recognize Libya's rebels and warned that the move could lead to a break in relations.

"We decided today to suspend our diplomatic relations with France. We will later appoint a country to represent our interests in France," Kaaim said. "France's aim is solely to divide Libya."

Kaaim said the self-proclaimed rebel national council represented "nothing but itself. It was not elected. It does not represent the regions of Libya, not even in the (rebel-held) east" of the country.

On the "secret" which Libyan state news agency JANA has said would lead to the fall of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has become a hate figure for Libya's regime, he said Tripoli did not want to interfere in France's affairs.

But he slipped in that "the judiciary only has to open an investigation on the sources of financing for the electoral campaign of the French president."

Earlier Friday, Sarkozy said that the European Union, the African Union and the Arab League will hold a summit soon on the Libyan crisis.

"The European Council, on a French proposal, decided to propose holding a tri-partite summit of the Arab League, the African Union and the European Union in the coming weeks," Sarkozy said at the end of an EU leaders meeting.

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