France has firmly rebuffed suggestions that it should join an international force and intervene in the south of Libya to end instability there and prevent it becoming a regional base for Al Qaeda.

On Monday, the France’s Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Edouard Guillaud stunned the French government, shocked Libyans, and angered French companies doing business in Libya by stating at a press conference that an international operation should be mounted to put an end to instability in the south of the country.

Reaffirming French policy towards Libya, the French Foreign Ministry today put out a statement saying that “no military intervention is envisaged there”. The only way to reestablish security in Libya was by strengthening Libyan security forces, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said. […]