Libya condemns Italy’s decision to increase troops in Misurata
TRIPOLI, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) — The National Defense and Security Committee of the Libyan eastern-based House of Representatives on Thursday condemned Italy’s decision to deploy more troops in the city of Misurata.
“The National Defense and Security Committee condemns the clear violation of Libya’s sovereignty by Italy through the Italian House of Representatives vote to approve the increase of its forces in Misurata,” the committee said in a statement.
“With this vote, Italy admits the presence of its forces, despite its previous denial of any troops on Libyan territory,” the statement added.
The committee warned Italy against “continued violation of Libya’s sovereignty,” and demanded explanation from Italy.
The Italian parliament on Wednesday approved the 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.
In September 2016, the Italian government sent a non-combat military mission, which includes about 100 special forces personnel, at the request of the Libyan UN-backed government to Misurata, some 200 km east of the capital Tripoli, to provide protection for the Italian field hospital inside Misurata air base.