No intervention in Libya

Salvini rules out military move, Italy to be peace protagonist

(ANSA) - Rome, September 3 - The premier's office on Monday denied media reports that Italian special forces were gearing to intervene in Libya.
    "In relation to some news that appeared in today's press, we categorically deny the preparation of an intervention on the part of Italian special forces in Libya," it said in a statement.
    "Italy continues to follow with attention the evolution of the situation on the ground and it has already publicly expressed concern as well as an invitation to immediately cease hostilities together with the United States, France and the United Kingdom".
    Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini ruled out Italian military intervention in the Libya crisis.
    "I exclude military interventions that don't solve anything," he said. "And others, too, should understand it".
    "Italy must be the protagonist of pacification in Libya. The incursions of others who have other interests must not prevail over the common good which is peace".
    Salvini said "I express maximum support for the recognised Libyan authorities. I thank their Coast Guard which is continuing to do its job: let's hope we can return there as soon as possible, it's too important to have a pacified area".
    He said "Italy must be protagonist, (Foreign Minister Enzo) Moavero (Milanesi) is moving.
    "There's him and the premier, with whom I am dialoguing. Ask them, I don't want to replace them".
    Salvini said earlier he was in touch with Italians in Libya amid clashes by rebel militias that have prompted the UN-backed government to declare a state of emergency in the capital Tripoli.
    "I am in direct contact with our men: soldiers, diplomats, and ENI staff who are experiencing in Libya risks caused by a senseless military intervention," Salvini said.
    He said no harm had yet to be reported.
    Italy's embassy in Tripoli is to stay open despite an attack on the national-unity government by rebel militia, foreign ministry sources told ANSA Monday.
    They said the embassy "remains operational but with a more flexible presence, which is being assessed on the basis of the needs and the security situation".
    Some 400 prisoners escaped from a jail in the Libyan capital, authorities said Sunday, as fighting between rival militias that has killed dozens of people forced the U.N.-backed government to declare a state of emergency in and around Tripoli.
    The European Commission said Monday "we urge all parties in Libya to immediately cease hostilities".
    A spokesman said "there is no military solution for the situation in Libya, only a political one".
    "The escalation of violence is undermining a situation which is already fragile. "Violence will only lead to more violence to the detriment of the Libyans".
    At least 47 people have been reported dead and 129 injured in eight days in clashes between armed militias in the capital Tripoli, according to the latest toll provided by the Libyan health ministry, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement.
    UNSMIL called on all sides affected by the conflict to meet Tuesday at midday in a place to be announced at a later date after deadly clashes over the past few days. UNSMIL called for an "urgent dialogue on the current security situation in Tripoli", based on resolutions of the Security Council and the offer of the UN secretary general to mediate between various Libyan sides. Back in Italy, government sources said no government summit has been scheduled so far on the Libya crisis.
    Oil giant ENI said Monday its activities in Libya were proceeding as normal and "there are no expatriated staff present in Tripoli".
    The fighting in Tripoli erupted last week when the Seventh Brigade, militias which hail from Tarhouna, a town about 40 miles (60 kilometers) south of Tripoli, attacked southern neighbourhoods of the capital. The Tripoli Revolutionaries' Brigades and the Nawasi Brigade, militias which support the U.N.-backed government, have come to the city's defense.
   

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