Di Maio Speaks to Lavrov Amid Intensified Italian Diplomacy on Libya – Al Marsad

Following Luigi Di Mayo’s last visit to Benghazi and Tripoli, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has intensified its diplomatic activity, even during the Christmas holidays, to crystallize an international consensus to address the Libyan situation.

[Libya, 25 December 2019] – Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio telephoned today his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, a contact that comes after yesterday’s telephone conversation with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Di Maio’s attempt is to quickly reach consensus on a ceasefire in Libya between the armed groups aligned with the Government of National Accord and the Libyan National Army forces.

According to La Repubblica, Di Maio, after his recent trip to Libya last week, is trying to reopen space for diplomatic negotiations through Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union, alongside with the main foreign ministers of EU member states, to mitigate and eventually put an end to military escalation, and pave the way for the resumption of political dialogue in Libya. “For this purpose, yesterday evening, Di Maio also telephoned the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu,” stated La Repubblica.

Ankara, by signing the controversial agreements with Tripoli government is increasingly “witnessing the growth of a series of adversaries, namely Egypt, Greece, and Greek Cyprus who may be able to join other nations in a coalition against Turkish interests,” the newspaper argued.

“Confirming his hyper-activism on the Libyan scene, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also arrived in Tunisia this morning for a surprise visit of a few hours. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Cavusoglu, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and the Head of Intelligence Services, Hakan Fidan,” La Repubblica stated.

The report concluded that Turkey may have after all an interest in not neglecting diplomatic channels, even if it continues to send new military supplies and advisers in support of the Tripoli government.

© Al Marsad English (2019)