Friday, August 31, 2007

Sarkozy talking out of both sides of his mouth

While the media (and more than a few blogs) make much out of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's apparent alignment with American interests, he's off equipping and training Libya's armed forces.
France intends to sell military hardware to Libya and train up its special forces as part of a confidential defence accord struck with Tripoli last month, a French newspaper reported Wednesday.

Le Canard Enchaine, an investigative and satirical weekly, published a facsimile of the agreement, which was announced following the release of six foreign medics convicted of infecting Libyan children with the AIDS virus, but whose details were kept under wraps.

The accord was followed days later by the announcement of military contracts with European defence firm EADS, forcing President Nicolas Sarkozy to deny that France traded a promise of arms sales for the medics' release.

[ ... ]

It also mentions the "possibility of carrying out joint military manoeuvres" and the "training of special military units, special forces and border patrol units".

[ ... ]

Following the lifting of a European arms embargo in 2004, the Canard Enchaine reported that Libya was planning to acquire fighter and transport jets, border surveillance equipment, a full range of military vehicles, ships and air defence systems.
Ain't that just dandy.

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