Allies Split on Oil Access

While meeting in Paris to discuss Libya’s future, world leaders who pledged support to the rebels have begun to spar over one important asset: oil. Representatives of 63 countries said at the “friends of Libya” conference that they hoped to avoid the pitfalls of Iraq, but divisions emerged for access to oil among the countries that urged for military intervention to overthrow Col. Muammar Gaddafi and those that did not, such as Russia and China. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé argued for French companies to have first access to Libyan contracts and reconstruction, since France was the first country in March to acknowledge the rebels’ provisional government. Russia, meanwhile, argued that the United Nations should take the lead on Libya’s reconstruction.