Italian Foreign Minister Renato Ruggiero said on Sunday, September 2, he welcomed the increase in trade between Libya and Italy and called for even closer links with Tripoli. Speaking after meeting his Libyan counterpart, Abdel Rahman Shalgham, Ruggiero told reporters commercial ties between the two countries were "very important", adding that Italy took in 40 percent of Libya's exports and Libya absorbed 25 percent of Italy's sales abroad.
Libyan sources said Ruggiero and Shalgham had discussed plans to supply Italy with Libyan gas via a pipeline under the Mediterranean Sea estimated to cost five billion dollars (€5.5 billion). Ruggiero said he and Shalgham had discussed "partnership projects".
The Italian foreign minister, who arrived in Tripoli on Sunday for a two-day visit, was later received by Libyan leader Moammar Khadafi. Sources said Ruggiero assured Khadafi that ties between their two countries were "solid". –(AFP, Tripoli)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )