High Profile Italian Nominees for Special Envoy to Libya – Al Marsad

The Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, upon his return to Italy from a visit to Libya and meetings with Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, Chancellor Aguila Saleh and Fayez al-Sarraj, announced at a press conference that Italy would be appointing a Special Envoy for Libya. Al Marsad reveals some of the names being discussed in Italian government, diplomatic and media circles for the position. 

[Libya, 20 December 2019] – One of the most senior names among a short list of high profile Italian diplomats nominated for the post of Italian Special Envoy to Libya is the former United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura. De Mistura’s profile includes working as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq and Afghanistan. He worked in other conflict areas around the world, including Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and former Yugoslavia.

The Italian daily newspaper La Stampa, reported today that Franco Frattini who served twice as Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Silvio Berlusconi cabinets, is also among the nominees. Franco Frattini was also the European Union’s Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security from 2004 to 2008. Frattini is one of the most prominent names on the table. In addition to his extensive experience on the European Union’s level, he was also in good communication with Moscow, as the Italian channel that was already opened recently with Moscow is quite useful for the situation in Libya.

Another possible canditates is Giampiero Massolo, one of the most recently mentioned names for the post of the new Italy’s Special Envoy to Libya. Massolo served as the Director General of the Department of Intelligence and Security (DIS), the coordinating body of the Italian intelligence community. He was also Director General for Multilateral Political Affairs and Human Rights and then Head of Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Currently, Giampiero Massolo is the President of the Institute for International Political Studies in Milan, Italy.

Piero Fassino, the former Mayor of Turin, is also among the top nominees for the Special Envoy mission that was declared after Luigi Di Maio, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, returned from his trip to Libya on Tuesday. Piero Fassino worked as the European Union’s Special Envoy for Burma. He worked also as Minister of Justice and Minister of Trade in two Italian cabinets.

Other names on the table include Federica Mogherini who served as High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission. Mogherini’s name would be controversial choice in many circles given her closeness to Islamist figures and to Iran, and she is distrusted by many in Libya, particularly in Eastern Libya.

The short list also includes Marta Dassu, Senior Director of European Affairs at the Aspen Institute and former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, in addition to Nathalie Tocci who worked as director of the Italian Institute of International Affairs. Nathalie Tocci was also Special Adviser to EU HRVP Federica Mogherini and honorary professor at the University of Tübingen.

© Al Marsad English (2019)