Haftar-Conte Hold Talks in Benghazi

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On Thursday, the Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, held a meeting with the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, and a number of Italian officials in Benghazi.

In a statement, the General Command said that Haftar and Prime Minister Conte discussed the latest developments in the current political dialogue. According to the statement, Haftar praised the role of the Italian government and its efforts to resolve the Libyan crisis.

Earlier today, Di Maio said that the authorities in eastern Libya agreed to release the eighteen Italian fishermen, who have been detained in Benghazi for over three months. Di Maio pledged Italian support to the stabilization efforts in Libya.

Conte posted a brief comment on the release of the fishermen, saying: “Good return home.”

On 1 September, the LNA Navy arrested 18 Italian fishermen for illegally entering Libyan waters. In 2015, four young Libyans in Sicily were sentenced by the magistrates of Catania to 30 years in prison. They were accused of organising a crossing from Libya, in which 49 migrants died. Libya was seeking a prisoner swap with the Italian government.