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Paris to pull out aircraft carrier from Libya soon

PARIS, Aug 4 (KUNA) -- France said on Thursday it will withdraw its Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier from its Libyan mission by mid-August for maintenance. French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said in news remarks: "We are in a situation of redeployment of our resources in order to support the NATO mission until the end." The carrier, deployed since March in the NATO-led Libya operation and at sea for many months before that, will stay in operation until at least August 10 and dock at the Mediterranean port of Toulon before August 15 for technical checks and to rest its personnel.
But, Longuet said there would be no easing off of France's part in the military operation, where it has taken a driving role since the start.
"(Muammar) Gaddafi should not expect any respite," Longuet said. "France, which is behind a quarter of the sorties and a third of the air strikes, will keep up its effort." France had said in June that it planned to withdraw the nuclear-powered carrier in the autumn. (end) amm.mt KUNA 041838 Aug 11NNNN