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.
- diplomatic recognition
- The European Union