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Italian debate on Libya military mission set to be delayed

Arab World Materials 3 May 2011 14:05 (UTC +04:00)
An Italian parliamentary vote on Tuesday on the country's participation in NATO's mission in Libya looked set to be delayed as Prime Minister Berlusconi attempted to reach an agreement with allies who oppose Italy's involvement in the conflict.
Italian debate on Libya military mission set to be delayed

An Italian parliamentary vote on Tuesday on the country's participation in NATO's mission in Libya looked set to be delayed as Prime Minister Berlusconi attempted to reach an agreement with allies who oppose Italy's involvement in the conflict, DPA reported.

The Northern League - the conservative government's junior partner - was scheduled to introduce a motion in parliament setting a timeframe by which Italy would withdraw from the mission.

Berlusconi on Monday said he was "confident" that an agreement could be reached with the Northern League which has threatened to topple the government if its motion does not win the support of the rest of the ruling coalition.

The debate and vote is set to take place in the lower house Chamber of Deputies where Berlusconi has a slim majority.

Last week Berlusconi, after a telephone call with US President Barack Obama, announced that Italian planes would take part in NATO airstrikes in Libya.

However, the anti-immigration Northern League, accused the premier of taking the decision unilaterally, and reiterated its opposition to the military mission warning it would unleash a wave of migrants attempting to reach Italy form Libya.

Since January, Italy has seen around 30,000 Tunisians arrive on its shores following a revolt against Tunisia's former autocratic regime.

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