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Friday, April 4, 2008       Free Headline Alerts

Libya to take part in NATO exercise

ATHENS — Libya has agreed to participate in its first NATO naval exercise.

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 operations.

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.

Also In This Edition

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 immigration.

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