On Tuesday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Mohamed Siala, held a meeting with the Italian Ambassador to Tripoli, Giuseppe Buccino, to discuss a number of issues. The two mainly discussed illegal immigration, and the bilateral Friendship Treaty signed between Italy and Libya in 2008.
During the meeting, Buccino briefed Siala on a new proposal regarding the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was signed between the two countries on the 2nd of July 2020. This MoU is meant to enhance cooperation in the field of development, combating illegal immigration, human trafficking, smuggling, and strengthening border security.
They also discussed the current tensions inside the GNA’s Presidential Council and government. The Italian diplomat will soon meet with the GNA’s Minister of the Interior, Fathi Bashaga, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmed Maiteeq, to discuss cooperation in combating human trafficking, and illegal immigration.
The MoU was the subject of an inter-ministerial consultation held in Rome on the 2nd of July, during the first meeting of the Italian-Libyan Joint Committee. Buccino said that Rome’s goal was to renew the agreement including the improvement of migrants’ conditions, strengthening the rule of law, maintaining the human rights of migrants, allowing the participation of the United Nations, and in particular UNHCR and the IOM to help in the management of migrants, refugees, and displaced persons’ affairs.
He also added that Italy called for the immediate release of women, children, and other vulnerable individuals from all detention centres in Tripoli. In this regard, the Italian government urged the European Union to pay attention to combating illegal migration.