France's foreign ministry reported that the government has asked 14 diplomats loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to leave the country within 48 hours.

A foreign ministry spokesperson said the diplomats worked for the Libyan embassy prio to its closure a month ago. The foreign ministry said the diplomats have been judged persona non grata and they have 48 hours to leave France.

France has acknowledged Libya's opposition movement and has been a chief supporter of the NATO-led military mission aimed at defending civilians from any assault by Gaddafi's army.