Italy rules out intervention in Libya, blames France for crisis

Italy's Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta

Italy's Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta ruled out on Tuesday military intervention in Libya, but also said that “France has responsibility” for the crisis in the African country. She evoked the military intervention in 2011 by France and other nations against the regime of Libya's then leader Moammar Gaddafi.

"It is clearly now undeniable that this country [Libya] finds itself in this situation because someone, in 2011, put their own interests ahead of those of the Libyan people and of Europe itself," the minister wrote on Facebook. "France, from this point of view, is partly to blame," Trenta added. Earlier Italy's parliamentary speaker Roberto Fico called the situation in Libya "a serious problem which France has left us".

The Italian press on Monday suggested that special Italian forces could be sent to intervene in Libya, a possibility which Trenta ruled out. Italy's PM Giuseppe Conte summoned for Tuesday afternoon a special meeting of the government on the Libya crisis, which would provoke even more influx of migrants to Italy.

Fighting has been raging between rival militias in the southern suburbs of the Libyan capital Tripoli in recent days, following a failed ceasefire. The Libyan capital has been at the centre of a battle for influence between armed groups since the ouster and killing of dictator Kadhafi in 2011.

The United Nations mission to Libya invited the various Libyan parties for urgent dialogue.


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