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Italian ship arrives in Tripoli port despite threat

Published: Updated:

The Libyan navy chief off staff’s media office has released a video of an Italian navy ship arriving to the port of Tripoli, while stressing that its arrival does not impede on the Libya’s sovereignty.

The Libyan Naval Command said in a statement on its Facebook page that the visit comes as part of a bilateral military cooperation agreement signed in 2008. Furthermore the statement added that it is the ‘right’ of the Libyan navy and coast guard to get technical and logistical support from their Italian counterparts.

The arrival comes after a call was made by the General Command of the Libyan National Army to bomb any vessel entering Libyan territorial waters.

General Khalifa Hafter, commander of the Libyan National Army made the call after the Italian parliament, Wednesday, accepted a request from the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord to send an Italian naval ship to the Libyan waters to intercept people smugglers.

The statement also disavowed what was attributed to the Libyan navy of giving up the nation’s sovereignty and its waters.

“The work of the navy in combating illegal immigration and saving lives has embarrassed the European side and made the claims of the naval forces and the coast guard a legitimate right. This comes with regard to benefits owed by the European side which should have been paid as a right to Libya in return for its sacrifices,” the naval command said in its statement.

This article is also available in Arabic.