Libya: Italian, Greek Prime Ministers on official visit

After the visits of several Ministers of Interior and Foreign Affairs and the visit of the head of the European Council last week in Tripoli, the Italian and Greek Prime Ministers paid an official visit to Libya on Tuesday April 6 to discuss with the new Libyan executive economic and security issues as well as bilateral cooperation.

 

This double visit is further proof of Europe’s keen interest in the political upturn in the country.

 

From Tripoli, the head of the Italian government Mario Draghi, who devoted his first visit abroad to Libya, said that his visit was a “proof of the importance of historical relations” between Libya and Italy. The opportunity also to “rebuild an old friendship and a closeness that has never known a break,” he said.

Reactivating Italian investments in Libya and the 2017 agreement on the interception of migrants by the Libyan coast guard were discussed. Mario Draghi also indicated his satisfaction with the “rescue” operations conducted off the coast of Libya.

Italy, a former colonial power, is a leading commercial partner for Libya, particularly in the field of hydrocarbons, with a significant presence of the Italian giant ENI.

As for the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, his trip to the Libyan capital aims, according to the spokesman of his government, to “normalize and restore diplomatic relations.”

The maritime delimitation agreement signed in 2019 between Turkey and Libya, which had angered Greece and the European Union, was at the heart of his discussions with the Libyan PM Abdel Hamid Dbeibah.

Dbeibah, however, clings to this economic agreement that, according to him, “preserves the rights of Libya” on hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean.

In another development, the Libyan authorities announced on Monday the creation of a national reconciliation commission, which will be responsible for restoring social peace in application of the Geneva political agreement. This announcement was welcomed by the UN, although no member has yet been appointed.

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