February 21, 2011 / 7:59 PM / 9 years ago

Berlusconi condemns "unacceptable" violence in Libya

ROME, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday condemned violence by Libyan forces against civilians as “unacceptable” and said he was “alarmed” over the situation in the North African state.

The statement by Berlusconi, who has cultivated close ties with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, comes after he was criticised widely for not speaking up earlier on Libya and saying that he did not want to “disturb” Gaddafi during the crisis.

Berlusconi also called on the European Union and the international community to do everything to prevent the situation in Libya from degenerating into a civil war. (Reporting by Babington)

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