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NATO's in charge – so who is doing what in Libya?

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks during a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels on Friday, March 25.
Michel Euler/AP
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France, Britain

France was the first country to recognize Libya’s opposition as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people. President Nicolas Sarkozy was the earliest, most vocal proponent of international intervention among world leaders. He led the way in gathering international backing for the proposal and his country was also the first with planes in the air following the passage of UN Resolution 1973.

Mr. Sarkozy opposed the idea of NATO taking over command of the Libya operations, preferring a coalition led by the UK and France (the US made it clear it did not want to remain in command).

He has since gotten on board with the NATO takeover. France has continued carrying out airstrikes and will still participate in operations in Libya, but under NATO’s command.

Today France named an official envoy to Libya’s opposition government, according to Agence France-Presse.

Little has been said about France’s quieter partner, Britain. Like France, it will likely continue operating under the auspices of NATO. Prime Minister David Cameron convened today's meeting in London to discuss the coalition’s role moving forward and seems to support coalition involvement in crafting a political solution in Libya.

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