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Britain’s New Libya Plan Shrouded in Secrecy

Europe's New Libya Plan Shrouded in Secrecy

British prime minister David Cameron has come under renewed pressure to reveal details of possible UK military action in Libya after it emerged that a number of British special forces troops had already been operating in the country since January.

EU ministers are holding a special meeting on Monday evening to discuss sending police and border forces to the North African country.

The British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also paid an apparent unannounced visit to Tripoli in a show of support for the country’s new UN-backed government.

Press TV reports:

Some 1,000 British troops may be dispatched to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, as part of a 6,000-strong coalition purportedly to train Libyan soldiers and fight Daesh terrorists.

Top British lawmakers are demanding that information be released on what exact role the UK forces will play in Libya. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond had said last week that no decisions had been made by then.

“Clarity is now overdue. We need transparency about the difficulties and the challenges. Any deployment would need a parliamentary vote, as would airstrikes,” chairman of the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Crispin Blunt said. 

Reports say a number of British forces have been operating in Libya since the beginning of 2016.

Hammond, who has been accused of being “less than candid” about the UK’s stance on sending troops to Libya, arrived on a surprise visit in Tripoli on Monday.

His trip comes following those of the foreign minister of Italy, France and Germany to the Libyan capital in recent days.

Western leaders view Libya’s new United Nations-backed government as a key partner in countering various militant groups behind numerous bloody attacks in the oil-rich country.

The head of Libya’s new unity government has turned down the offer of foreign military assistance to help eliminate ISIS in the North African state.

However, reports are circulating that Libyan Prime Minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj may request support on Monday evening during a video conference call with EU ministers in Luxembourg.