Italy denounces 'vandalism' against Tripoli embassies
Italy's foreign ministry on Sunday denounced "acts of vandalism" carried out against the Italian and other foreign embassies in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
"The foreign ministry confirms that acts of vandalism occurred this morning against some foreign embassies in Tripoli including the Italian embassy," the ministry said in a statement.
Italy, which closed down its embassy in March and is represented by Turkey, said these were "grave and vile actions".
Libyan leader Moamer "Kadhafi's regime, by not ensuring the necessary protection for foreign diplomatic missions in Tripoli, has again failed in its basic international obligations," it said.
Britain earlier on Sunday said it was investigating reports that its official residence in Tripoli had been destroyed.
Libya's ambassador to London was expelled later on Sunday.
Italy also said it was boosting security checks after Kadhafi threatened retaliation following the Italian government's decision to take part in NATO-led air strikes against the regime.
"Kadhafi's words confirm that we have to monitor the situation. It's what we are doing and we have intensified monitoring on our territory," Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said Sunday.
Italy was Libya's colonial ruler from 1911 until World War II and was Libya's top foreign trade partner before the start of hostilities.
Kadhafi signed a friendship treaty with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in 2008, which opened the way for massive investments in each other's economies.
© 2011 AFP