David Cameron summoned to appear before MPS over UK troops in Libya

  • Sky News |
  • Thursday 17 March 2016
It has been claimed the UK plans to send troops to the conflict-hit country

It has been claimed the UK plans to send troops to the conflict-hit country

David Cameron has been summoned to appear before MPs over Libya, amid controversy about UK involvement in the war-torn country.

The move comes after US President Barack Obama criticised the Prime Minister for his actions over Libya.

The American leader said European nations, including the UK, had joined the US military action to prevent a massacre in the north African state back in 2011, but then failed to prevent the country becoming a “mess” following the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Mr Obama put some of the blame for chaos in Libya on Mr Cameron becoming “distracted” by other priorities

There have also been claims – denied by the Government – that the UK could send 1,000 ground troops to the conflict-hit north African state as part of an international force of 6,000.

The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said it had been told, during a visit to the region, that the force would train the Libyan army and provide security for the newly-appointed national unity government.

Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord, currently based in Tunisia’s capital Tunis, is also set to request airstrikes against Islamic State targets, according to the MPs.

A Government spokesman said what the committee had been told was “wrong on a number of counts”.

Mr Cameron has also told MPs any plans to send “conventional forces” for training in Libya would be put before Parliament for debate.

Appearing before the committee in February, Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood said the UK was prepared to “advise, assist, support and train” a national unity government in taking on IS, adding: “We are not going in there to hold and take ground.”

On extending the invitation to the PM to give evidence, the chairman of the select committee Crispin Blunt told Sky News: “It is an issue that is extremely profound, it has gone on for quite a long time.

“I think that he deserves a proper opportunity to be able to give a decent explanation as to the decisions that he took and the decisions we are faced with now as a country, given the rather fragile state of the political reconciliation such as it is in Libya.”

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