Italian MoD Confirms Strategic Role of Libya

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“In Libya we cannot play a game. Imagining that we are not completely involved in the Libyan affair is wrong for both Italy and the European Union,” said Italian Defence Minister, Lorenzo Guerini.

This statement took place during a meeting dubbed ‘A look at the world’. Nova news agency quoted Guerini saying “the story in Libya offers a space of opportunity, and it is in the interest of the international community to know there can be a country like Italy, that maintains an approach based on initiatives, aimed at lowering the tone.”

The Italian MoD stressed the need to emphasize the strategic role of Libya concerning Italy, “this opportunity should be seized to enhance bilateral cooperation,” he added.

On 6 August, Guerini met with Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj in Tripoli. There he announced that Italy would enhance cooperation with Libya, citing a willingness for improved relations with the war-torn country’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord. Both countries will collaborate on reclamation and demining activities. They will also be expanding cooperation in medicine and military healthcare within the Misrata field hospital, which is due to be moved to a “more functional area.”

Oil-rich Libya has been marred in chaos since the ouster, and killing of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. It now has two rival authorities, and a multitude of militias vying for control of the country. The country’s internationally recognized government is based in Tripoli, while Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), is supported by a parallel administration based in the east.