News / Africa

Italy Offers its Air Bases for No-Fly Zone Over Libya

An F16 jet fighter is seen at the NATO airbase in Aviano, Italy, March 18, 2011
An F16 jet fighter is seen at the NATO airbase in Aviano, Italy, March 18, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +
Sabina Castelfranco

Italy says it will allow its military bases to be used for the U.N.-backed military intervention to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. Italy's president says Rome cannot remain indifferent to developments in Libya.  

Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said Friday there will be no limits on the use of Italian bases to protect the humanitarian situation, as called for in the United Nations Security Council resolution. He was addressing a special session of parliament’s defense and foreign affairs committees.

The use of Italy's air bases is seen as crucial for any action because of its strategic location across the Mediterranean from Libya. Among the facilities are Aviano air base in northeastern Italy; Sigonella near Catania, Sicily; Trapani in western Sicily; and Pantelleria, a tiny island halfway between Tunisia and Sicily.

The defense minister also said Italy has a strong ability to take out Libyan radars, if need be.

The U.N. Security Council voted on Thursday to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya and “all necessary measures” to protect civilians against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.

Earlier, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said Italy cannot remain indifferent to developments in Libya. He said Italy cannot stand by watching the systematic repression of fundamental freedom and human rights in any country.

Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, flanking La Russa, said Italy’s “active participation includes base use" but would not be limited to that.  Italy has heavy economic and energy ties in Libya. He said Italy wants to have a solid presence in Libya, both in the present and in the future.  

In preparation for enforcing the no-fly zone through military means, Italy has closed its Embassy in Tripoli. All Italian embassy and consular staff have left Libya, and Frattini said Turkey would represent Italian interests there.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid