Italian warship arrives in Libya to help fight illegal immigration

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-03 06:32:48|Editor: Zhou Xin
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TRIPOLI, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- An Italian warship on Wednesday arrived in the Libyan capital Tripoli with a naval expert team on board, a Libyan navy spokesman said.

Ayob Qassem said that the ship's visit aims to boost technical cooperation to fight illegal immigration and provide training to Libyan coastguards.

Italy said that the mission is based on a request by the UN-backed government in Tripoli.

However, Libyan eastern parliament rejected the Italian naval mission, calling it a "violation to the national sovereignty."

"Such agreements or requests are only made by the legitimate parliament, not an executive authority," said Abdullah Belheeg, a parliament spokesman.

Moreover, eastern-based army commander, General Khalifa Haftar, issued orders to naval bases in different cities in the country to attack any naval vessel in Libyan water without a permission from the armed forces, and only allow permitted commercial ships.

Due to the state of insecurity and chaos, thousands of immigrants choose to depart from Libya to Europe. Many immigrants have drown halfway in the Mediterranean.