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Italy plans military mission in Libyan waters

ITALY PLANS MILITARY MISSION IN LIBYAN WATERS

Italy's government on Friday proposed sending military forces to Libyan waters to tackle human smuggling.

Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni told a news conference in Rome Italian officials would also assist Libyan coast guards in easing irregular migration flows.

He said the mission would help the Libyan authorities reinforce their capacity to control their borders and national territory.

Gentiloni stated on Wednesday that Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj of the Tripoli-based UN-backed unity government had asked him to send troops.

It was noted that the Italian naval and air deployment would consist of nearly 700 soldiers.

Italy's parliament will debate the government's decision next week.

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