Libyan parliament rejects Italian naval deployment

Italy

The deployment of Italian naval vessels in Libyan waters is being contested within the North African nation.

The country’s parliament, which is based in Eastern Libya, warned that such a step would be as good as exporting the migrant crisis to the country, if, and when, the migrants are intercepted  and sent back to the country.

The Tobruk Parliament also criticized the internationally recognized Prime Minster Fayez Serraj for striking the deal with Italy.

Serraj invited Italy to send its naval ships to Libyan waters, in order to curb the flow of migrants intoi Europe.

Following that request, Italy’s parliament approved the deployment of the ships on Wednesday.

Italy will initially deploy two ships, in what the government says is an operation to help the Libyan coastguard and target people smugglers.

Reuters reports the Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti to say that there would be “no harm done or slight given to Libyan sovereignty.” He stressed that the mission would not be a “blockade” preventing migrant boats from leaving.