Libya, president al Menfi cancels Tuareg meeting in Rome: Italy should not interfere
The President of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed Menfi, asked the Foreign Minister in the National Unity Government, Najla al Mangoush, and the Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, to cancel a reconciliation forum between the tribes of southern Libya in Italy, expressing its condemnation and denunciation of this “behavior” by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs led by Luigi Di Maio.
Menfi wrote this in an urgent message addressed to the Libyan minister, reported by the Libyan newspaper “Al Wasat”. “We have learned that the Foreign Ministry is preparing to send a delegation of members from southern Libya to hold a reconciliation forum in Italy, at the invitation of the Farnesina, without prior coordination with the Presidential Council”, reads the message.
Menfi reiterated to Italy not to interfere in Libyan affairs to the Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, and the Head of State, Sergio Mattarella – expressing his condemnation and denunciation for the initiative of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, requesting cancellation of the forum and warning Rome of the need to respect the principles of internal sovereignty, to observe good neighbourly relations and not to interfere in the internal affairs of the country.
The head of the Libyan Presidential Council indicated in his letter that the results of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum have entrusted the Council itself with the task of starting the path of national reconciliation, forming a High Commission for this purpose.
But the Farnesina denies any role of the Foreign Ministry in organizing the Fezzan tribal reconciliation conference which, according to diplomatic sources, was promoted and organized by the Italian non-profit organization Ara Pacis, which has been involved for years in post-conflict reconciliation in the southern region of the country.” The initiative, the sources continue, is part of the activities that Ara Pacis has been carrying out for some time in favor of stabilizing the Fezzan. The Italian Embassy in Tripoli was involved only in the issue of visas for entry to the Libyan delegates.
The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, received today the Libyan President Mohamed Younis al Menfi, at the historic Palazzo del Quirinale in the capital, Rome. Menfi was the first Libyan president to meet the Italian president in ten years.
According to a statement by the Presidential Council today, the Italian president received the exile by raising the flag of Libya at the presidential palace. In welcoming the President of the Presidential Council, Mattarella said it is the first time in ten years that the palace has received a Libyan president, emphasizing his country’s support for the Presidential Council, commending his efforts to work towards stability in the Country.
For his part, the exile thanked the Italian president for the warm welcome and hospitality, inviting him to visit Libya, and Mattarella expressed his acceptance of the invitation. During the meeting, the two sides also discussed several common issues and the importance of strengthening cooperation, particularly in the areas of migration, development, and election support. The historic Palazzo del Quirinale, which hosted the meeting, is the permanent residence of the head of state and the official residence of the King of Italy since 1970, according to the press release.
During the day, the exile arrived in Rome on an official visit to Italy, on the eve of the second conference in Berlin, which should begin tomorrow, Wednesday, to confirm the immediate withdrawal of foreign mercenaries from Libya, and the provision of a strong support for the transitional authority to be able to hold elections on time.