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Africa

Italian minister blames France for Libya crisis

media Fighting in Tripoli last week REUTERS/Hani Amara

France is partly to blame for the ongoing war in Libya, Italy's Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta said on Monday, ruling out sending Italian troops there.

"France, from my point of view, has a responsibility," Trenta wrote on Facebook, pointing to the 2011 military intervention by France and other nations that toppled Moamer Kadhafi.

"It is clearly now undeniable that this country finds itself in this situation because someone, in 2011, put their own interests ahead of those of the Libyan people and of Europe itself," the minister said. "France, from this point of view, is partly to blame."

Nicolas Sarkozy, who was French president at the time, faces a legal inquiry into alleged funding by Kadhafi for his 2007 election campaign.

The speaker of the Italian parliament, Roberto Fico, earlier called the situation in Libya "a serious problem that France has left us".

Trenta said that it was necessary to move forward "together" to secure peace in the north Africa country, where rival militias have been fighting on the outskirts of Tripoli in the last few days.

Italian media on Monday suggested that special Italian forces could be sent to intervene in Libya but Trenta ruled out that possibility.

The United Nations mission to Libya has invited the "various Libyan parties" to talks on Tuesday for "urgent dialogue".

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