Libya Accuses The Netherlands of Spying

Libya Accuses The Netherlands of Spying

The three Dutch soldiers imprisoned in Libya have been accused of espionage, according to a broadcast on the Libyan state television.

The Dutch Navy helicopter wanted to drop or pick up spies, it was mentioned in the TV broadcast which was shown Friday in program Nieuwsuur.

Also there were claims of conspiracy in the broadcast. The three Dutch crewmembers are being held in Libya since Sunday.

Last Sunday afternoon a naval helicopter from the Dutch frigate HNLMS Tromp, engaged in a consular evacuation operation in Sirte, was prevented from taking off by an armed Libyan unit loyal to the current regime.

Talks with the Libyan authorities about the situation thus created were launched immediately by the ship’s command and by the Dutch authorities in The Hague. The 2 evacuees were transferred today by the Libyans to the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tripoli. Intensive diplomatic talks are still under way concerning the release of the helicopter’s 3 crew members.

The Minister of Defence Hans Hillen and the Chief of Defence general Peter van Uhm express their concern about the crew that is being held captive. The Minister: “We sympathize with the uncertainty of the relatives of the crew. Everything is being done for the safe return of the helicopter crew.”

The relatives of the detained military personnel and of the evacuees have been kept informed of developments. For security reasons, this information was not made public earlier and no further information will be released.

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