Conte Discusses Relationship with Haftar

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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he remained in constant contact with the Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. Conte praised the relationship between Italy and the eastern-based authorities.

The PM stated, “I received Haftar after the military attack last April, and I received him several times in the past at the government headquarters in Rome. We have always had a channel for dialogue, and when the possibility of signing the decree to release the hostages by making a visit appeared, I boarded the plane there without thinking about it.”

Prime Minister Conte concluded by saying “let us leave the controversy aside. I did not accept any condition except to go there and see the liberation decree signed before my eyes.”

Last week, the authorities of eastern Libyan released 18 Italian fishermen after 107 days in custody. Prime Minister Conte and Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, met with Haftar to secure the fishermen’s release.