Obama Criticises Cameron, Sarkozy, over Libya Intervention

By John Lee.

David Cameron became "distracted" after the 2011 intervention in Libya, US President Barack Obama has told the Atlantic magazine.

He said the operation went as well as he had hoped, but Libya was now "a mess".

"There's room for criticism ... because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya's proximity, being invested in the follow-up."

He also criticised former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, saying he had tried to claim the spotlight.

"[Sarkozy] wanted to trumpet the flights he was taking in the air campaign, despite the fact that we had wiped out all the air defences and essentially set up the entire infrastructure [for the intervention]."

President Obama said the intervention "averted large-scale civilian casualties (and) prevented what almost surely would have been a prolonged and bloody civil conflict".

He also criticised "free riders", saying European and Gulf countries were calling for action against Gaddafi, "pushing us to act but then showing an unwillingness to put any skin in the game."

(Source: BBC News)

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