France supports bombing Gadhafi strong hold

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he would support airstrikes against Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi if he uses chemical weapons against protesters.

Sarkozy’s comments came as the European Union was convening an emergency session in Brussels to discuss the crisis in Libya, EUobserver reported Friday.

Thursday, France recognized the National Libyan Council in Benghazi as the new Libyan government.

Sarkozy said the EU should “recognize the Libyan authorities as represented by the self-proclaimed Council of the Libyan opposition … to avoid having a country that finds itself in the position of Somalia, at one time, with no one in charge and no one to represent it.”

“The question of legitimacy of this or that party can be left for another day,” Sarkozy said.

He also called for the creation of a humanitarian zone to care for tens of thousands of people fleeing Libya.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested a more cautious approach.

“Every step we take must be carefully considered,” she said. “We need to be united and give a single message. Divide and rule would only be of advantage to Gadhafi and that’s exactly what we are trying to avoid.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the United Kingdom is “planning for every eventuality.”

“It’s a moment for Europe to say that what we’ve done in the past hasn’t always worked and now we should be reaching out to these countries, offering them a new partnership, opening up our markets … This is potentially a good moment for our world and we should seize it and grab it and try and shape it.” officialwire

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