Italy to support Libyan unity government

Rome, Jan 20 (IANS/AKI) Italy is ready to help the newly-announced Libyan unity cabinet restore peace and security and stem the turmoil that has engulfed the North African country, foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni has said.

“We have before us a real opportunity to stabilise the country, which must be grasped by everyone. Italy is ready to do its share to support Libya,” Gentiloni said.

His comments came after a meeting in Rome on Tuesday with the UN special envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler.

Both earlier also hailed the creation of the 32-member unity cabinet headed by Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj, after two years of talks between rival factions.

Gentiloni said he and Kobler agreed the list of cabinet ministers was “a decisive step, to be considered by all Libyan parties as the start of a positive phase for the country”.

Security in Libya and political, economic and humanitarian support to the chaos-wracked country were at the centre of a summit held in Rome on Tuesday, attended by ministers from 18 countries and delegates from three international organisations the Italian foreign ministry said.

Also present at the Rome summit were delegates from Libya’s Tunisia-based Presidential Council, which includes representatives from its two rival parliaments, the foreign ministry said.

Italy’s Premier Matteo Renzi said in December that Libya was “an absolute priority” and risked becoming “the next emergency”.



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