France 'partly to blame' for Libya crisis, says Italian defence minister

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France 'partly to blame' for Libya crisis, says Italian defence minister
Italian Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta. Photo: John Thys/AFP

France is partly to blame for the crisis in Libya, Italy's Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta said on Monday, ruling out Italian military intervention there.


"France, from my point of view, has a responsibility," the minister wrote on Facebook, evoking the military intervention in 2011 by France and other nations against the regime of Libya's then leader Moamer Kadhafi.

"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 said.

"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".

Trenta said that it was necessary to move forward "together" to secure peace in Libya. The Italian press on Monday suggested that special Italian forces could be sent to intervene in Libya, a possibility which Trenta ruled out.

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 has invited the "various Libyan parties" to talks on Tuesday for "urgent dialogue". 



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