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Libya (Update)

Volume 587: debated on Tuesday 4 November 2014

On 11 June this year, my predecessor informed the House, Official Report, column 49WS, that the UK had started training the first tranche of Libyan recruits at Bassingbourn Camp, as part of an international commitment with other G8 nations to train a general purpose force.

The UK has been providing a challenging training programme to Libyan troops since late June. The majority of recruits have responded positively to the training despite the ongoing political uncertainty in Libya but there have been disciplinary issues.

Training was initially expected to last until the end of November but we have agreed with the Libyan Government to bring forward the training completion date. The recruits will be returning to Libya in the coming days.

The UK remains committed to supporting the Libyan Government as they work to establish stability and security across the country. The immediate priority must be agreement to a political settlement and the Prime Minister’s special envoy to Libya, Jonathan Powell, is playing an active role in support of that process.

As part of our ongoing support for the Libyan Government, we will review how best to train Libyan security forces—including whether training further tranches of recruits in the UK is the best way forward.