Berlusconi says Italy won't bomb Libya

April 15, 2011 at 11:28 AM
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ROME, April 15 (UPI) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says Italy won't participate in any bombing raids against Libya.

Berlusconi's comments Friday came as leaders from the United States, the United Kingdom and France released a joint letter saying there would be no peace in Libya as long as Moammar Gadhafi remains in power.

Italy is acting "in line with the United Nations resolution," Berlusconi said in an ANSA report Friday. He stressed that Italy would not have a major military commitment in Libya.

"We are doing enough" in Libya, Berlusconi said at a Cabinet meeting.

Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said Italy's military commitment to Libya was "second to none."

Last month, Italy gave its unconditional backing for a no-fly zone over Libya and provided seven military bases and eight aircraft to support U.S. and NATO forces conducting bombing raids.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Maurizio Massari said Wednesday Italy would help Libyan rebels defend themselves but he stopped short of saying Italy would supply them with weapons.

Italy has had substantial business relations with its former colony and Berlusconi reportedly had close ties with Gadhafi before the crisis.

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