Europe

Libya leader offers NATO sea access if it upgrades navy

Libya's U.N.-backed prime minister says NATO or European Union ships could be permitted to operate in Libyan waters alongside the national navy if those organizations help modernize his country's vessels.

The European Union wants to secure U.N. and Libyan backing to move its anti-smuggling mission Operation Sophia into Libyan waters to help prevent migrants reaching Europe.

Fayez Serraj said that "if there is something to be carried out jointly between the Libyan navy and any other party that would be interested in extending a hand to the Libyan navy that would be possible."

He told reporters Wednesday that "of course, we have to modernize our navy flotilla and enhance its capacities. NATO or any other friendly nation on a bilateral basis could extend a hand in this."