ROME, APRIL 23 – Dialogue between Tripoli and Tobruk started again in Rome. “A step towards Libya’s Dialogue. We work together for this goal,” the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano said on Twitter after Friday’s talk between the president of the House of Representatives of Tobruk, Aghila Saleh, and the chairman of the Supreme Council of State of Tripoli, Abdulrahman Swelhi.
The meeting, hosted by Alfano and attended by Italy’s ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Perrone, was part of a series of Italian diplomatic initiatives aimed at fostering dialogue and reconciliation between the West and East of Libya. The talks in Rome were promoted by Alfano’s cabinet’s, who informed all European partners. “National reconciliation needs to be the outcome of an inclusive dialogue process”, Alfano said. “It’s up to Libyans now to decide how to advance dialogue within consensual and Libyan-Libyan approach”.
The Rome meeting has drawn praise from UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler. “It is a good step upon which to build and advance the implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA)”, Kobler said on Twitter. According to a statement from the State Council, “there was an atmosphere of friendliness and openness” at the meeting.
The statement also said that there would have to be further consultations between the two sides in order to bring about reconciliation “and stop the bleeding as well as [ensure] the return of displaced persons”. With the HoR refusing to approve a government of national accord until changes are made to the Libyan Political Agreement, which can only be done by a joint team from the HoR and the State Council, the meeting marks a potential breakthrough in the current crisis, the Libia Herald noted. Both bodies still have to appoint their dialogue teams. Earlier this week, the Libya Herald was told by HoR sources that appointing the parliament’s team would be left to Saleh on the basis that a decision would take too long if left to members to decide. (@OnuItalia)