Saturday, January 24, 2004

Libya: Britain to train Libyan forces

Britain is planning to send troops to Libya to train Col Gaddafi's armed forces and take part in joint military exercises, the latest evidence of a remarkable thaw in relations between the countries.

Ministry of Defence officials and Army officers have just completed a secret visit to Libya, the Telegraph has learned. The Libyans had initially asked Britain to supply sophisticated missile systems as a "reward" for abandoning weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programmes but the request was rejected, not least because Tripoli is still subject to a European Union arms embargo.

... The British reassured Libyan military chiefs that their country's security would not be undermined by Col Gaddafi's offer to surrender his WMD.

... military assistance could begin later this year, officials said, if Libya continues to co-operate on WMD. (full-text)