ATHENS — Libya has agreed to participate in its first NATO naval
Libya will send naval vessels to NATO's Phoenix Express-2008, designed by NATO to enhance cooperation with navies in
the Mediterranean Sea in counter-insurgency and counter-proliferation
The NATO exercise, meant to begin in the eastern Mediterranean, was
scheduled for April 8 and would last for two weeks. Libyan naval vessels
were expected to join those of the Mediterranean Dialogue, a seven-member
group launched by NATO in 1994.
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Algeria, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal,
Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States were also scheduled to
participate in Phoenix Express. The exercise would combine joint operations
to track and board suspicious cargo vessels along with search and rescue.
This would mark the first time Libya participated in a NATO naval
exercise. NATO and the European Union have sought Libyan cooperation in
operations against Al Qaida, weapons of mass destruction and illegal