07 MAR 2011
Italy's interior minister has called on the United States to restrain itself over Libya and leave Europe to deal with the crisis, which he said risked seeing a rise in Islamic fundamentalism, Italian media reported today.
"We have to make sure Libya does not become the new Afghanistan, but the Americans would do well to calm down," Roberto Maroni said yesterday at a meeting of the anti-immigration Northern League party, of which he is a member.
"We are here, Europe is here, and it's best that we take care of things."
Maroni denied being alarmist and said it was necessary to avoid a mass flight of refugees from Libya and surrounding countries towards Europe.
"The collapse of these countries could give birth to regimes supported by Islamic fundamentalism, with the risk of infiltration by Al-Qaeda," he said.
While US President Barack Obama has argued his country must not become a player in the Libyan revolt, to avoid backlash in a region that reviles the US invasion of Iraq and is marked by colonialism, he has not ruled out military action.
Northern League chief Umberto Bossi said military action on the part of the West would aggravate the problem of refugees fleeing the region for Italy.
"There should be no bombardments, otherwise they'll just come here," he said.
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