France's President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel take part in EU extraordinary leaders summit in Brussels
France's President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel take part in EU extraordinary leaders summit in Brussels Reuters

European Union (EU) leaders have demanded that Moammar Gaddafi must give up power in Libya.
At an emergency summit in Brussels, the EU is seeking to find a consensus on dealing with the ever-worsening crisis in Libya, which threatens to erupt into civil war, create a humanitarian crisis and seriously disrupt global oil trade.

Regarding Libya, the problem has a name: Gaddafi. He has to go, said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Barroso added that the EU will explore all the possibilities for that to be achieved in full respect of international law and also working in close cooperation with our allies and partners in the region.

Colonel Gaddafi must go, his regime is illegitimate, what he is doing to his people is completely unacceptable, UK Prime Minister David Cameron told Al Jazeera.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it must be totally clear that somebody who wages war against his own people is no partner for talks with the European Union. Therefore we demand Gaddafi's immediate resignation.

Merkel said the EU must present a united front, as divisions would only play into Gaddafi's hands.

However, there are some disagreements among EU members over the proper course of action in Libya.

For example, France, which was the first nation in the world to officially recognize Libya’s eastern-based rebels, The Libyan National Council (LNC), as that country’s legitimate government, has so far failed to convince other European leaders to follow its example – although Britain’s Cameron has expressed support for recognition of LNC.

In fact, the Premier of The Netherlands Mark Rutte described it as a crazy move which goes against normal diplomatic practices.

The Prime Minister of Luxembourg Prime Jean-Claude Juncker said: Europeans would do well if they talk about the measures they want to decide on in the meeting and not the day before.

The German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, said he wanted to ascertain the opinions of the Arab League and regional countries before we in Europe once more form our own definitive opinion before everyone else.

France can at least count on Britain in supporting its proposal for targeted air strikes in Libya – but only with the backing of the United Nations and The Arab League. France and the UK have also drafted a resolution to establish a no-fly zone over Libya, to stop Gaddafi’s air force from launching strikes onto rebel strongholds.

Westerwelle also expressed his misgivings about the no-fly-zone.

A no-fly zone is not putting up a traffic sign, but intervening with bombs, rockets, weapons, he said. If it doesn't work, do we go further, with land forces?