Italy defence minister blames France for Libya conflict

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Italy has accused France of being partly to blame for the currently conflict in Libya

Italian defense minister Elisabetta Trenta took to social media to point the finger at France, saying that when it pushed for the 2011 military intervention against Libya’s then leader Muammar Gaddafi, it put its own interests ahead of those of the Libyan people.

An international coalition, led by the United States and NATO, intervened in Libya on the basis of a UN mandate to protect civilians.

Italy allowed NATO forces use its airbases, but the prime minister of the day, Silvio Berlusconi, said he opposed the operation.

Libya has since been dogged by conflict as various terrorist groups and human smuggling gangs have battled for control of various parts of the country.

In April 2016, former US President Barack Obama said that failing to plan for the aftermath of Gaddafi’s ouster was his reign’s worst mistake. He said, however, that intervening in Libya had been “the right thing to do”.

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