U.S. president Barrack Obama has criticised UK Prime Minister, David Cameron; for being distracted by domestic policies while Libya descended into chaos.
Obama, in an interview with the Atlantic magazine, also blamed former French president Nicholas Sarkozy for the current “mess” in Libya.
The 2011 NATO bombing in Libya with Britain and France at the forefront ended the leadership of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddaffi.
Sarkozy wanted to trumpet the flights he was taking in the air campaign, despite the fact that we had wiped out all the air defences and essentially set up the entire infrastructure for the intervention
Obama thinks the failure of France and the UK to follow up after the bombing campaign has created the current havoc in Libya.
Obama blasts David Cameron for U.K.'s role in Libyahttps://t.co/bFS4wzFTce— TIME.com (@TIME) March 11, 2016
“Sarkozy wanted to trumpet the flights he was taking in the air campaign, despite the fact that we had wiped out all the air defences and essentially set up the entire infrastructure for the intervention,” Obama said.
Some MPs from Britain and France have hit back criticising Obama’s lack of leadership in North Africa and the Middle East.
Obama equally said during the crisis he had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity.
“At that point, you’ve got Europe and a number of Gulf countries who despise Gaddafi, or are concerned on a humanitarian basis, who are calling for action. But what has been a habit over the last several decades in these circumstances is people pushing us to act but then showing an unwillingness to put any skin in the game … free riders,” Obama said.
So what I said at that point was, we should act as part of an international coalition. But because this is not at the core of our interests, we need to get a UN mandate; we need Europeans and Gulf countries to be actively involved in the coalition; we will apply the military capabilities that are unique to us, but we expect others to carry their weight,” he added.