France hopes NATO role in Libya ends soon

PARIS—France’s foreign minister says he hopes NATO’s air operation over in Libya will end “as soon as possible”—once rebel fighters topple Moammar Gadhafi and his forces for good.

Alain Juppe says France and Britain were responsible for about 75 to 80 percent of NATO air operations over Libya in recent months, and he’s turning his attention now with allies to preparing for the post-Gadhafi era.

Juppe also told Europe-1 radio Tuesday that France had sent “a few instructors” to train rebel fighters. But France’s Defense Ministry had said Monday its only security staff were in Benghazi to protect a French envoy.

He also said France had provided weapons to Libya “that allowed for the defense of populations being attacked” by Gadhafi loyalists.

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