23 January 2018

Libya: Italy Says Its Presence in Libya Approved By Libyan Govt

Tripoli — Italy's presence in Libya was approved by the Libyan UN-backed government and did not violate Libya's sovereignty, said Italian Ambassador to Tripoli Giuseppe Perrone on Monday.

The envoy made his remarks during a meeting with Abdulsalam Kajman, Deputy Head of the Government's Presidential Council, in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

"Perrone pointed out that Italy supports Libya to restore security and stability, stressing that Italy's support for Libya covers health and humanitarian fields," said the Media and Communications Department of the Presidential Council in a statement.

"Perrone referred to the role of the (Italian) field hospital in Misurata, which carried out more than 10,000 medical checks and more than 700 surgery operations, in addition to technical and logistic assistance to the Libyan air forces," said the statement.

The Italian ambassador also said that 20 municipalities of southern Libya received medical and technical assistance from Italy, in coordination with the Government of National Accord.

Perrone further stressed that the Italian presence of all fields is done with the approval and procedures of the Libyan state, mainly the Government of National Accord, and that there was no (Italian) violations to the Libyan sovereignty.

The Libyan Foreign Ministry on Friday requested the Italian government to clarify its recent decision to increase its troops in Libya.

The National Defense and Security Committee of the Libyan eastern-based House of Representatives on Thursday condemned Italy's decision, calling it a "violation of the Libyan sovereignty."

In September 2016, the Italian government sent a non-combat military mission, which includes about 100 special forces, at the request of the Libyan government to Misurata, some 200 km east of the capital Tripoli, to provide protection for the Italian field hospital inside Misurata air base.

The field hospital provides medical services to the government's troops injured during the fight against Islamic State (IS) affiliates in the nearby city of Sirte.



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