Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs to Visit Tripoli Next Tuesday for Talks on Crisis – Al Marsad

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi de Maio is expected to arrive in Tripoli on Tuesday for a short yet urgent meeting, diplomatic sources revealed. Italy has criticised both the GNA and Turkey for its “mistaken” approach.

[Libya, 15 December 2019] – According to the Italian Agenzia Nova that this visit will be the first official mission for Minister De Maio to Libya since he assumed the position of Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs on 5September this year. De Mayo is expected to meet with the Prime Minister of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj.

De Maio’s visit to Libya comes in the context of the growing isolation of the Tripoli-based GNA since the signing of the maritime boundaries and security cooperation agreements with Erdogan bringing Turkey into further involvement into the Libyan conflict. The Italian government criticised the GNA-Turkey agreement and said it was moving towards formulating a common European position.

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte that he would be contacting Erdogan in relation to the latter’s “mistaken approach” on Libya. Italy, he said, holds that Turkey’s agreement with Libyan Government of National Accord (LNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj is “unacceptable since it seems to engage in an illusory logic of the dividing of spheres of competence. Such an agreement has no real effectiveness and it shows an absolutely mistaken approach.” Earlier this week, Erdogan had said Turkey was ready to send troops to Libya to assist the GNA if there was a request.

Erdogan’s posturing on Libya risk an anti-Turkish coalition forming comprising Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Italy, all of whom come together under the umbrella of the eastern Mediterranean gas forum.

© Al Marsad English (2019)