Paris: France will withdraw its sole aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle from its Libya mission for maintenance, Defense Minister Gerard Longuet said.
Longuet told French daily Var-Matin the Charles de Gaulle battle team needed technical checks and rest after participating in the NATO-led Libya operation for almost five months.
The aircraft carrier would depart from Libya August 10 and later dock at the port of Toulon, a French coastal city along the Mediterranean, Xinhua reported.
Maintenance of the aircraft carrier is expected to last for weeks, as new pilots will be trained during the period.
Longuet did not reveal whether the aircraft carrier would return to the battle field or not.
However, the minister repeated France’s firm stance against the Tripoli government under the leadership of Muammar Gaddafi and pledged a lasting French role in the coalition military mission “until the end”.