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Race for influence: EU leaked document unveils plans to send military mission to Libya

The EU Observer website has published what it calls an internal document issued by the European Union’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dated July 1st; saying that the European Union is promoting plans to send a military mission to Libya in order to compete for influence with foreign powers.

The European Union indicated in the leaked document that Turkey continues to refuse inspections of suspected arms shipments to Libya, in violation of the United Nations embargo, and maintains a strong military presence in the country, in addition to providing training to armed forces in western Libya, especially the Coast Guard and the Navy, after sending forces to Libya, last year.

The document painted a troubling picture of Libya due to the many foreign fighters, and the unrelenting trade in oil, weapons, and people continued, with the Libyan authorities expressing the need for EU support for Libya’s borders, including the south, and if the Libyan authorities agreed; this could open the possibility of obtaining overflight rights for European Union air traffic control assets over Libyan territory in the southern desert.

In the same context, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed that the time has come to implement a progressive and consistent schedule for the departure of foreign elements from both sides, noting that the European Union, Italy and France are ready to do more; to support and train the Libyan Coast Guard.

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