Italy intends to play a “crucial role” in the democratic relaunch of Libya, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio has said.
Di Maio delivered the message in Tripoli following a meeting with Libyan President Mohamed Menfi and the vice president of the Libyan Presidential Council.
In a one-day visit kept secret from the press, Di Maio also held a long meeting with Najlaa Al-Manqoush, Libya’s foreign minister.
Luigi Di Maio and interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who was sworn in on Monday, discussed "cooperation and issues of common interest, foremost immigration" https://t.co/htz70wW6KL— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) March 21, 2021
Di Maio is the first member of an EU government to visit Tripoli since the formation of Libya’s national unity government on March 10. The body is charged with bringing the war-torn country toward national elections on Dec. 24 this year, and has been granted confidence by the House of Representatives in Sirte.
“Only one year ago it would have been impossible to imagine a government of national unity in Libya planing investments and the relaunch of this country. Today this is what is happening. Italy intends to play a crucial role in order to help the implementation of this project,” Di Maio said.
He added: “Italy and Libya are united by important geo-strategic interests. In addition to migratory flows, it is essential for both of our countries to work together so that economic cooperation between us can be properly relaunched.”
The Libyan prime minister’s press office said that bilateral relations between the two countries, the reactivation of a friendship agreement and work on the coastal road between Ras Agedir and Musaid were discussed in the meeting
A statement by the office added that Di Maio confirmed Italy’s support for Libya “in all fields” and in “helping to unify sovereign institutions.” The minister further announced that Italy will increase its diplomatic presence in Libya, the statement said.
His delegation also included CEO of energy company Eni, Claudio Descalzi.
Descalzi told Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah of the “full commitment” of Eni to operational activities and projects in the country, with a particular focus on the development of gas and renewable sources of energy.
According to Eni, the Libyan prime minister was “appreciative” of Descalzi for the company’s “active role as a primary player in the energy sector,” and for having promised a “social commitment” toward the local population through support in the fields of health, education, electricity production and anti-coronavirus efforts.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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