The Commander of Tripoli Naval Base, Abdulhakim Abuhuwiya, has confirmed that the Libyan Naval Force won’t accept any violation of Libya’s territorial waters.
In a press conference Thursday, Abuhuwiya indicated that the Head of the Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Sirraj, had ordered a technical support for the Libyan Naval Force from “friend countries.”
“And Italy has agreed to provide Libya with such an assistance.” He added.
He indicated that the Libyan Naval Force allowed the Italian Naval Force vessels to enter Tripoli Naval Base in order to do service and maintenance work for the Libyan vessels.
“Previous Libyan governments neglected the naval force and now there has been an agreement with Italy for technical and logistic support as per 2008 agreement.” The Navy Commander added.
He also said that Al-Sirraj contacted the Libyan naval leadership and was informed of the development of the naval force personnel’s work after some sort of support by the Italian mission, adding that they are facing smuggling of weapons and fuel and that they will continue to work with the European Union and the United Nations to combat them.
An Italian naval vessel arrived in Tripoli Naval Base last Monday and another on Tuesday with a team of experts onboard to do service work for Libyan vessels.
The Italian naval mission into the Libyan waters has been the spotlight recently with Haftar and his loyalists rejecting it and slamming it as a violation of the Libyan sovereignty, threatening to destroy any warship that sails into the Libyan waters.
Whereas, Presidential Council’s loyalists said the naval mission is a necessary action to cripple the illegal immigration issue and to develop the potentials of the Libyan Navy and Coast Guard’s personnel, saying it is only an activation of 2008 agreement between Libya’s Gaddafi government and Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi one.