• France's news in English

Sarkozy greeted as a hero on return to Libya

Ben McPartland · 19 Mar 2013, 18:14

Published: 19 Mar 2013 18:14 GMT+01:00

Sarkozy landed at the military airport in Mitiga on Tuesday, accompanied by former French Prime Minister Alain Juppé and former Minister for Justice Dominique Perben.

His 24-hour visit brought back memories of the victory lap he made in the autumn of 2011 with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

Sarkozy had led the successful charge by NATO to depose the Libyan former dictator, in what was considered one of his political triumphs during his five years in the Elysée Palace.

Juppé told BFM TV that Sarkozy was “moved” by the reception he received. “He talked about how all of this has come about. Libya is still present in his mind and we understand because the decision he took to intervene was huge and with serious consequences, but it succeeded.”

“It is moving to hear people shout ‘Vive la France' and ‘Vive Sarkozy’. That is what makes this trip all worth while,” Juppé added.

The former president met with representatives of the local Tripoli council before heading for talks with the country's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. The former head of state is also set to meet with members of the General National Congress.

Story continues below…

Sarkozy’s visit coincides with the second anniversary of the launch of the Libyan intervention and coincides with increased speculation about him making a heroic return to politics in France.

Last month The Local reported Sarkozy’s intriguing interview with a French magazine in which he spoke about having ‘a duty’ to make a comeback for the sake of ‘France’.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where property prices have risen most in France
Photo: AFP

You might just have been priced out of the market if you're looking to buy in Bordeaux.

Official Paris refugee camps to open end of September
Photo: AFP

Will this see an end to the squalid makeshift camps that spring up across the city?

Paris Metro takes on 'air hostesses' to promote safety
Photo: RATP/Screenshot

Did you see the "air hostesses" on the Metro this week?

Paris region doubles security budget for schools
Photo: AFP

France is prioritizing the protection of schools amid a heightened terror threat.

All you need to know about changes in French schools
All photos: AFP

School's back tomorrow, with a raft of new changes. Here's what you need to know.

Emmanuel Macron the next French president - Really?
Emmanuel Macron: The next French president? Photo: AFP

Can the 38-year-old maverick and former Rothschild banker really become the president of France in eight months' time?

€50 million of coke found in Coke factory in France
File photos: Owen Blacker/Flickr and Adrian Scottow/Flickr

Employees have sniffed out 370kg of coke in a French Coke factory.

Morocco's king drains water supply from French villages
King Mohamed VI of Morocco. Photo: AFP

King in town + 300-strong entourage = no drinking water for a French village.

Macron vows 'to transform France from next year'
Photo: AFP

Ex-Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron sets his sights on the presidency albeit without saying so.

French PM suggests naked breasts represent France
A statue of Marianne at the Place de la Republique in Paris, with her left breast on show. Photo: AFP

Just as the burqini ban furore was dying down French PM Manuel Valls has stirred things up again for suggesting naked breasts were a stronger symbol of the Republic than a Muslim headscarf.

16 things you almost certainly didn't know about France
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Emmanuel Macron: The whizzkid who could shake up French politics
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
jobs available