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Libya tells Italy it won't fight illegal migration

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Libya tells Italy it won't fight illegal migration Empty Libya tells Italy it won't fight illegal migration

Post by scarface May 8th 2008, 6:37 pm

TRIPOLI, May 8 (Reuters) - Libya on Thursday told Italy it would no longer help protect Italian shores from waves of illegal African migrants because Rome and other European Union states had failed to come up with promised support.

The move was announced shortly after Silvio Berlusconi took an oath to serve as prime minister -- his third time leading Italy's government -- and heralded potentially stormy relations between diplomatic and economic allies Rome and Tripoli.

Italy is OPEC member Libya's main European trade partner and Italian oil company ENI (ENI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) holds stakes in pipeline, natural gas and oil projects in Libya.

"Libya has been suffering in the struggle of warding off the flow of illegal migrants to Italy by depleting its material resources and spending huge amounts of money to protect Italian coasts from waves of illegal migrants," the Interior Ministry said in a statement faxed to Reuters.

"Libya is no longer responsible for protecting Italian coasts from illegal migrants .... because the Italian side did not make good on its commitment to provide support for Libya."

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