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G8 Divided Over Libya As Gaddafi Forces Attack

Published on Wednesday 16th March 2011 G8 Divided Over Libya As Gaddafi Forces Attack

The Group of Eight countries are divided over military intervention in Libya, as forces loyal to Moamer Kadhafi push eastwards into rebel-held territory.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said on Tuesday he had failed to convince counterparts from G8 countries to endorse a no-fly zone over Libya. France is pushing for a no-fly zone to ground Libyan warplanes and protect Libyan civilians. But the US, the EU and Russia have expressed caution over military intervention.

On Monday US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held out the possibility of economic and political aid to the Libyan opposition. The chief US diplomat met with Mahmoud Jibril, who handles foreign affairs for Libya's transitional national council.

"They had a private and candid conversation about ways in which the United States can assist the Libyan people in their efforts against the Kadhafi regime," top Clinton aide Philippe Reines told reporters. Clinton however stopped short of offering military aid.

On Monday pro-Kadhafi forces attacked a key rebel-held town. Rebel fighters in Ajdabiya said four shells had crashed west of the town, while residents in the area reported air strikes.

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