Tripoli, 23 April 2013:
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius flew into Tripoli for three and a half hours this afternoon to inspect the damage to the French embassy car-bombed this morning and hold talks with Libyan leaders.
Calling the attack “a terrorist act” which had intended to kill, he said that they had wanted to “undermine the friendship between them. They would “pay” for the attack, he said.
Following his arrival at Mitiga Airbase, he went straight to the embassy accompanied by Prime Minister Ali Zeidan to inspect the damage and have talks with Ambassador Antoine Sivan and other members of staff. He then went to see the gravely injured gendarme in hospital. A French air ambulance has also flown to Mitiga and is on standby there to take the man back to France as soon as his state of health permits it. According to Fabius he had to be immediately operated on for a serious back injury as well as a brain injury.
From the hospital, Fabius went to Congress where he met with Congress president Mohamed Magarief. Zeidan was also there as was Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdulaziz. “We condenm most strongly this cowardly and vile attack which was intended to kill”, he said afterwards at a press conference afterwards with Abdulaziz.
By 6 pm he was at Mitiga again to fly back to Paris.
Meanwhile, an anti-terrorist judge has been sent to Tripoli by President Francois Hollande to help in the investigation into the embassy attack. The French president has said that Libya must find the bombers and put them on trial.