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Your questions on Libya for Europe's big names

Ben Sutherland Ben Sutherland | 09:22 UK time, Friday, 25 March 2011

Two of Europe's big political names - former Nato Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and former French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin - were on air on World Have Your Say on television, taking your points on the situation in Libya.


Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
was Nato Secretary General from 2004-2009.

Before the intervention, he had been sceptical of the chances of anything happening, because of Russia's resistance to the idea. He also raised fears that the US itself is actually very divided over its Libya action - perhaps reflected in the continued message from the White House that they are only acting as part of Nato.

But he has also recently argued that the Libya crisis has strengthened relations between the West and the Arab world, and has now pleaded for Arab countries to get more involved:

"We saw the GCC and Arab League give political coverage to military action in an Arab state, and the United States and its allies did not want to act without their support. Active Arab participation in the enforcement of this resolution should follow... we should use this moment to intensify the political dialogue between Nato, the EU and the GCC.""

Meanwhile it may be interesting to note that as Dutch foreign minister, Mr de Hoop Scheffer was instrumental in the country's decision to lend support to the US and UK in going into Iraq.

Dominique de Villepin was France's Prime Minister from 2005 to 2007, and is now tipped to run for the country's Presidency in 2012. He is also a former foreign minister for his country.

Although he is a long-term rival to the country's current president Nicolas Sarkozy, he has said France has "lived up to its ideals" by leading the military mission.

It has been suggested France had a "duty" to intervene - and indeed, it was France that led the mission when it began on Saturday.

Polls suggest 66% of the country approves of the action.


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