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article imageItaly opposes military intervention in Libya

By Michael Krebs     Mar 16, 2011 in World
Opting instead for a summit on Libya between the European Union, the African Union, and the Arab League, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini ruled out Italian military intervention.
In a setback for English and French strategists, who have been working to gain European Union consensus on military intervention against Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, Italy has publicly announced its intention not to commit military assets to the conflict in Libya.
According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini expressed his interest in seeing a Libyan summit - convened by European Union, African Union, and Arab League representatives.
"We cannot have war, the international community should not, does not want and cannot do it," Frattini said, addressing an Italian parliamentary body.
Events on the ground in Libya are not favoring the Libyan rebels. Reports are circulating that Benghazi remains the last significant rebel holding, with the New York Times reporting on Wednesday that Misurati - the last rebel city held in Western Libya - is now under attack from Gaddafi's forces.
On Wednesday, France said that Arab nations were willing to take up arms to help the opposition in Libya - according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Germany and Russia have opposed the implementation of a no-fly zone over Libya, and Italy's opposition echoes German and Russian concerns. The United States has largely taken a wait-and-see approach, although there have been calls in some corners of the American government for supporting a no-fly zone. The implementation of a no-fly zone would be an act of war, as Libya's anti-aircraft units would have to be neutralized in advance.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Frattini suggested a broader summit - as the Arab League, African Union, and European Union are "the three parties that can make a difference" in Libya.
More about Italy, Libya, Gaddafi, Military, Rebels
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