The Address | Benghazi – Libya
BEIJING – Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, denied that an Italian field hospital based in Misurata is being used to support militias of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).
“I want to reiterate it clearly and firmly the staff we have at Misurata does not offer any support for military, paramilitary or other activities,” Conte told reporters in Beijing, on the sidelines of the second forum on the Silk Road on Saturday.
Conte’s remarks came after the Libyan National Army (LNA) called on Italy to shut down the Italian field hospital due to its “ambiguous” activities.
The field hospital was established on the purpose of treating civilians and fighters wounded during the battle of Sirte in 2016.
“We have a military hospital where we treat civilians injured,” Conte said before adding,”what we are willing to do is to treat fighters who are injured, not only of the Government of National Accord, of the army of [Fayez] Al-Sarraj and of Misruata, but also of [Khalifa] Haftar,”
“We are also willing to exclude any terrorists among those. We will not accept anyone. We will start operations of prior identification of the subjects. We do not want to be the medical support for terrorists,” said the Italian premier.
Spokesman of the General Command of the LNA, General Brigadier Ahmed al-Mesmari, called on Italy to shut down the field hospital “as soon as possible”, adding that there are no longer any humanitarian reasons for the hospital to remain in place after ISIS was driven out of Sirte.
“We have evidence that this facility no longer has any humanitarian role, but it is rather a valuable aid to Misurata militias fighting our army,” al-Mesmari said.