The Netherlands will do all it can to ensure the release of three members of the armed forces being held in Libya, prime minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday.
‘Intensive talks’ are under way with the Libyan authorities, Rutte told Radio 1.
The cabinet had given the official go ahead for the rescue mission, Rutte is quoted as saying.
The three and their Lynx helicopter were seized on Sunday during an attempt to rescue two people who had become stranded in the port city of Sirte.
The helicopter, stationed on the frigate HMS Tromp which is anchored off the coast of Libya, came under attack from government troops after landing. The botched rescue mission took place on Sunday but has only just been made public.
The two people who were hoping to be rescued, one Dutch, the other European, were handed over to the Dutch authorities and have since left the country, according to media reports.
Libya has now been given evidence of ‘foreign intervention’ on its territory, and this is likely to have serious political and diplomatic repercussions, the AD said.
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