In Libya Libyan Army to EU: 'We won't cooperate'

Libyan Army has said it will not cooperate with the European Union (EU) military intervention to curtail the flow of undocumented migrants trying to cross over to Europe.

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Libyans fleeing to Europe in unseaworthy boats play

Libyans fleeing to Europe in unseaworthy boats

(AP)
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Libyan Army has said it will not cooperate with the European Union (EU) military intervention to curtail the flow of undocumented migrants trying to cross over to Europe.

The country’s army head, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, said, in an interview with CNN that Libyan authorities have not been consulted, noting that a military action will not solve the problem in any event.

"We will certainly not cooperate, because we were not involved in resolving this issue. The decision was taken without consulting the legitimate Libyan side," Haftar said.

One vessel that capsized last weekend killed about 900 people dead.

The EU is reportedly overwhelmed with a rocketing number of people flooding unseaworthy boats attempting to reach European shores – many of them are escaping from violence and poverty in Libya.

EU leadership is planning a military action against the smugglers at the source before they load their boats with human cargo but Haftar says the decision is not wise.

He said, "Military action against Libyan territory is an unwise decision. You need to deal with the Libyan crisis as a whole. We are a sovereign country that needs to be respected despite what we are going through right now.

"The European Union needs to stand with the Libyan people to solve the crisis instead of taking such decisions. The migrant crisis affects them. But why don't they see that our problems are also very important? It's important for them to support us either on the humanitarian front or on the security front.

"We do what's in the interest of the Libyan people. The European Union is looking after its own interests so we will also look after ours.

"If they take the right approach, we will certainly cooperate. The appropriate approach will benefit Libya and its fight against terrorism. And I repeat, that means lifting sanctions against Libya - specifically those against the army."