Italy tries to return protagonist in Libya with the new executive, Di Maio’s visit shows

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The new Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Unity, Abdel Hamid Dabaiba, received the Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Sunday in Tripoli.

According to a note from Tripoli, Di Maio congratulated the Prime Minister for gaining the confidence of the House of Representatives, wishing him and the members of his government every success in carrying out their duties, underlining the importance of communication between the two countries, in the presence of a government of national unity.

During the meeting held on Sunday morning, Di Maio expressed his desire to develop relations between the two countries at the level of strategic partnership, underlining that Italy looks with great interest to Libya and looks forward to raising the diplomatic presence, increasing trust between the two nations.

The two sides also discussed the mechanism for setting up a joint commission that will work to re-establish bilateral relations in the development and trade sectors. Regarding the immigration dossier, the Libyan Prime Minister explained that it is an international issue that does not only concern Libya and cannot be resolved only in the Mediterranean and in Libya as a transit country. Rather it is necessary to work through a solidarity policy that directs the phenomenon from the countries of origin to the countries of destination. For his part, the head of the Farnesina, reconfirmed by President Mario Draghi, indicated that Libya should not be seen by Europe only for the problem of illegal and clandestine immigration, but it is necessary to support and cooperate with the North African country in heterogeneous sectors.

In conclusion, the Libyan Prime Minister thanked the Italian ambassador for his continued presence and work in Tripoli in the most difficult circumstances the country is experiencing, underlining the need not to be satisfied with intermittent seasonal visits between the two sides and to carry out a process of continuous and fruitful communication, relaunching cooperation in all fields in the interest of both parties.

The meeting was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Libya, Naglaa Al-Manqoush, as well as the Director of the European Department at the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Ambassador to Libya, Giuseppe Buccino Grimaldi, as well as the Minister’s Special Envoy Foreign Affairs in Libya.

The Italian Foreign Minister was the first European leader to meet the new executive in Libya. An important sign of the leading role that Italy plays in the Mediterranean, with which it has entered into competition with Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey. Italy is also present in Libya through the oil company Eni, which manages the Mellitah complex in the Sabratha area.

To confirm that, the fact that Al-Dabaiba invited the Italian Eni to invest and strengthen its social responsibility in the health, education, vocational training, and electricity sectors, underlining that this is an urgent priority for the North African country. The request came during a separate meeting between the Libyan Prime Minister and the CEO of Eni, Claudio Descalzi, in the presence of the Minister of Oil in the new Government of National Unity, Mohamed Aoun.

The media office of the Libyan government said that Dabaiba and Descalzi discussed cooperation in the field of energy and the activation of Eni’s social responsibility in the North African country, indicating that the meeting focused on the activities of the company in Libya, the ways to restart the economy, as well as the possibilities of cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector, in response to the growing need of global energy demand, always in full compliance with the growing environmental challenges. Eni’s CEO affirmed, for his part, the company’s full commitment to its operations and projects in the country, with a focus on natural gas, while minimizing the use of sources of high impact carbon.

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