CNN – Even as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the ultimate goal for the U.S. was to see Libya’s president cede power, a senior administration official says the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone and military action to support it would not necessarily last until Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi steps down. The purpose of the no-fly zone, the administration official said, is to prevent Gadhafi from attacking his own people.
After faltering in its response to uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, France emerged as a surprisingly robust diplomatic force in dealing with the Libya crisis – even if President Nicolas Sarkozy’s approach has left some people scratching their heads.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy was the most vocal advocate of a no-fly zone over Libya, and France was the first Western power to recognise the Libyan opposition. Friday morning, in the wake of a UN resolution authorising “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians from attacks by Gaddafi’s forces, French authorities were saying military action could be imminent.