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EU: Military action would need EU, Arab support

Associated Press
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center right, speaks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, fifth right, during a round table meeting at an EU Summit in Brussels on Friday, March 11, 2011. European Union nations are putting French President Nicolas Sarkozy under pressure even before his arrival at Friday's EU summit, complaining he was out of line to give a Libyan opposition group diplomatic recognition before any joint action could be discussed. Standing left is European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and second left is Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

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The European Union says it is keeping the military option open to protect the population in Libya but any action would need the backing of the United Nations and the Arab League.

Delegates at Friday's summit of EU government leaders also expressed political backing for Libya's opposition council but stopped short of the diplomatic recognition given the council Thursday by France.

France and Britain had pushed to maintain the military option in the face of continued fighting in Libya and the threat of more violence by the forces of strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

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