Libya requests clarification from Italy on increasing its forces in Libya

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-20 09:39:47|Editor: Yurou
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TRIPOLI, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Foreign Ministry of Libya's UN-backed government on Friday requested the Italian government to clarify its recent decision to increase its troops in Libya.

"The Foreign Ministry has handed over a verbal note to the Italian embassy in Tripoli about the decision to increase Italian troops in Libya," Libyan Foreign Ministry official Ahmed Al-Arbad told Xinhua.

"The Ministry requested an urgent clarification from the Italian government on the Italian Parliament's vote to increase the number of Italian troops in Libya," Al-Arbad said.

The Italian Parliament on Wednesday approved an increase of Italian troops in Libya.

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said earlier that Italy will transfer part of its military units from Iraq and Afghanistan to North Africa to combat illegal immigration and counter terrorism threats.

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

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