Libyan troops arrive at Bassingbourn barracks
PUBLISHED: 12:02 13 June 2014 | UPDATED: 14:12 13 June 2014
Over 300 Libyan troops arrived at a British army barracks on Wednesday to begin training so that they can bring stability to their country.
The soldiers, who number around 325, arrived at Bassingbourn Barracks to begin a 24-week course of basic infantry and junior command skills, which will be carried out by troops from 3 Scots - a British Army infantry regiment.
The initiative was agreed in the Houses of Parliament on July 9 last year by Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, for the UK to train up to 2,000 Libyan Armed Forces personnel.
This is part of a G8 nations plan to train a General Purpose Force to help the Libyan Government disarm and integrate militias and improve the security and stability of the country.
Mr Hammond said: “These recruits have been carefully vetted by the Libyan Government and Home Office officials to ensure that security and immigration controls are maintained and that those selected are representative of all of Libya. “We have also started to work with the Libyan Government and international partners on plans for reintegration of trainees after their return to Libya.
“In the year since the Prime Minister announced the UK’s commitment to the General Purpose Force initiative, the unstable political and security situation in Libya has underlined the complex challenges and the need for the international community to support the transition to a stable, open and democratic Libya.”
Andrew Landsley, South Cambs’s MP and leader of the House of Commons, said: “A stable, open and democratic Libya will contribute to wider regional security and is in the UK’s interests. The ongoing political instability there only serves to underline the need for the international community to support this aim.
“Together with the US and other G8 states, we are at the forefront in helping to promote the long-term stability in Libya. I am very pleased that Bassingbourn barracks continues to be used for military training in this capacity, and am happy to welcome the first tranche of personnel recruits to the barracks today as part of our ongoing wider support to Libya.”