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Italy's Premier meets Libya leaders to discuss joint energy, infrastructure projects

May 7, 2024 at 8:33 pm

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is welcomed by Libyan Government of National Unity’s Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh during his official visit in Tripoli, Libya on May 07, 2024 [Hazem Turkia – Anadolu Agency]

Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, visited Libya on Tuesday, meeting local leaders to discuss common projects in the key energy and infrastructure sectors, explore new investment opportunities and increase cooperation on migration, Anadolu Agency reports.

During their meeting in Tripoli, Meloni and Libya’s Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, also decided to organise an Italian-Libyan business forum by the end of the year.

Meloni discussed with her Libyan counterpart “the importance of holding Libyan presidential and parliamentary elections, within the framework of United Nations mediation which must be relaunched,” said a statement issued by Meloni’s office after the talks.

Dbeibah said on Facebook he had held fruitful talks with Meloni to enhance the prospects for joint cooperation between the two countries, adding that the meeting led to “the signing of three agreements in the fields of health, higher education and scientific research, and sports and youth.”

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“I look forward to continuing the work with Meloni to advance bilateral relations in the upcoming meetings,” he added.

Meloni said Italy will continue to work to ensure “greater unity of purpose” among the international community and to promote cooperation between Libya and the EU”.

The Italian Premier was also accompanied by the ministers of university and research, health and sport and youth.

The agreements sealed on Tuesday are part of the so-called Mattei Plan, sponsored by Rome with the aim of reducing illegal migration from Africa, while transforming Italy into a key energy hub.

As part of her mission, Meloni also went to Benghazi to meet Benghazi-based military commander, Khalifa Haftar, “in accordance with Italy’s consolidated commitment to be present throughout Libya and to work with all Libyan actors.”

The two discussed, among other things, “Italian initiatives in the agriculture and health sector which also affect the Cyrenaica area.”

Meloni reiterated Italy’s willingness to contribute, through the specific skills of its private sector, to the reconstruction of Derna, hit last year by dramatic floods.

The Italian Premier also expressed appreciation for the results achieved by bilateral cooperation in the field of migration.

“In this perspective, it remains essential to intensify efforts to combat human trafficking,” Meloni said, according to her office’s statement. “Also from a regional perspective and in line with the specific attention that Italy is dedicating to this global challenge in scope of its G7 presidency.”

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