March 17, 2011 / 8:48 PM / 8 years ago

Italy says would not shirk duty if no-fly zone set

ROME, March 17 (Reuters) - Italy, a potential base for any military action against Libya, would not stand in the way if the U.N. Security Council voted to impose a no-fly zone, Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa was quoted as saying on Thursday.

“We would not shirk our duties, even though our line has always been one of balance and moderation,” he told Italian news agency ANSA.

The airbase at Sigonella in Sicily, which provides logistical support for the U.S. Sixth Fleet, is one of the closest NATO bases to Libya and could be used in any military operation.

Italy has been sceptical about calls from France and Britain to launch a no-fly zone or airstrikes against Libya and Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said this week that the international community could not contemplate military action. (Writing by James Mackenzie)

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