ROME, JANUARY 18 – In a “fruitful first meeting” the UN Special envoy for Libya, Martin Kobler, held talks with the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Angelino Alfano, today in Rome. Kobler and Alfano “exchanged views on the political, humanitarian, economic and financial situation in Libya”, the UN envoy said on Twitter.
Kobler praised in particulary the decision of the Italian government to re-open its Embassy in Tripoli: “Its a very positive sign and a strong demonstration of support to all Libyan people”, the envoy said.
Alfano agreed on the symbolic value of the Embassy re-opening after over two years, and expressed his hope that other countries will follow Italy’s example: “We see it as a sign of close proximity to the Libyan people, and of support to the Presidential Council and the Political Agreement”. The Embassy, the Minister said, “will allow us to quickly relaunch bilateral initiatives”. Alfano added his hope for UNSMIL to be back in Tripoli as soon as possible. “We cannot allow for Libya to plunge again into chaos. Italy is convinced that there is no military situation in Libya. Only the Skhirat Agreement lends the right framework to solve issues on the ground and bring back national reconciliation”.
Alfano mentioned Libya during today’s “question time” at Montecitorio. “Italy is facing a difficult year also on account of two important transitions: in the United States and at the United Nations. We have also seen other international actors enter the stage in areas of crisis such as Syria”. Italy will be a protagonist in 2017 “if we will not leave space to others in the Mediterranean and in Libya, if we will not take the lead”. (@OnuItalia)