Libya says Italian vessels enter its waters

Libya’s Tobruk based government says three Italian vessels enters its waters early Sunday

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Over 600 alive and eight dead refugees confined in the Mediterranean waters between Libya and Italian island Lampedusa are saved and brought to Italy on October 20 2015

Libya’s rival Tobruk based government, the House of Representatives (HoR), said that they spotted three Italian vessels entering its waters on early Sunday morning, and vowed to use “all means” to protect its sovereignty.

"The warships kept on until they approached the shores of Deryana town in east of Benghazi," the rival government said in a statement.

"The government strongly condemns this violation," it continued.

Italy rejected violating Libyan waters later on Sunday.

"All of Italy's military ships present in the Mediterranean operate in international waters and respect the limits established by treaty," Italian Defence Ministry said.

Last month, the United Nations authorised the European Union to inspect vessels in the Mediterranean against people smugglers who use Libyan ports frequently, taking advantage of the chaos in the country.

Italy’s entering Libyan waters would contradict with both international laws and the bilateral agreements between the two countries, the HoR statement said.

Libya is currently divided between the control of two rival parliaments, the General National Congress (GNC) in the capital Tripoli and the House of Representatives (HoR), operating from the eastern city of Tobruk, each backed by their own militias.

The conflict in the country has been ongoing for the past four years, since the fall of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.

TRTWorld and agencies