Sarkozy slams 'desperate' Gaddafi
Paris - France's President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday condemned Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi's "criminal and cynical" attempt to cling to power despite the apparent collapse of his regime.
"As battlefield developments and defections from his camp confirm that Gaddafi's end is inevitable and close, the president condemns Colonel Gaddafi's irresponsible and desperate calls for the combat to continue," his office said.
Sarkozy urged "forces still loyal to the regime to turn away from the criminal and cynical blindness of their leader, to cease fire, put down their arms and put themselves at the disposal of the legitimate Libyan authorities".
France recognises the Benghazi-based revolutionary movement the National Transitional Council as the legitimate authority in Libya.
Sarkozy's office said he had invited the prime minister of this government in waiting to meet him in Paris on Wednesday to discuss the situation, as revolutionary fighters pour into Tripoli and rout regime loyalists.
In the statement, the French leader said he had talked to Mahmud Jibril by telephone and praised "the determination and courage of the leaders and fighters of the NTC and of all Libyans who rose in revolt.
"As a new phase of transition is to begin, the president invites all Libyans to take part in a spirit of reconciliation and unity, with the aim of laying the foundations of new and democratic Libya, where everyone's rights are respected and the Libyan people as a whole and each of its composing parts feel respected," Sarkozy said.