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PM Draghi’s statement during visit to Tripoli

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

President of the Council of Ministers Mario Draghi’s statement following his meeting with Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dabaiba in Tripoli.

[The following video is available in Italian only]

STATEMENT BY PM DRAGHI

Thank you, Prime Minister. 

This is my first foreign visit since I had the honour of being appointed President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Government. This visit in itself shows how important the historical link between our countries is. 

I would also like to point out that this is a unique moment in time for Libya: the government you preside over is a government of national unity, recognised and legitimised by Parliament, a government that is working towards national reconciliation. In this sense, now is a unique opportunity to rebuild our age-old friendship and closeness that has never ceased;  just think about the fact that the Italian embassy was the only one to remain open during the conflict, during all these long years of conflict and danger. Here, we must acknowledge and praise the courage of our diplomats who remained in the embassy. 

As I said, this is a unique opportunity to rebuild, to look to the future and to move ahead quickly and decisively. The prerequisite for making courageous and decisive steps forward is that the ceasefire must be maintained and strictly observed. Security on the ground is undoubtedly a precondition for our cooperation. I have been given important reassurances in this regard. I must say that we had an extraordinarily warm and satisfactory meeting in which many matters were discussed. We talked about our cooperation in the field of public works projects, with precise reference to civil infrastructure, as well as in the sectors of energy, health and culture. Italy will be giving a new impulse to the Italian Cultural Institute and shall increase the number of scholarships for Libyan students learning Italian. We want to give new impetus to the cultural and economic exchange between Libya and Italy. 

In other words, we want this partnership to act as a guide for the future, in a fully sovereign Libya. This also refers to migration and, in this respect, we would like to express our satisfaction with Libya’s rescue efforts. At the same time, we wish to provide Libya with help and assistance. This is not only a geopolitical issue, but a humanitarian one too. From this point of view, Italy is perhaps the only country that continues to keep humanitarian corridors open. Libya’s migration problem does not stem only along its coastline, but also along its southern borders. The EU has been tasked with supporting the Libyan government also in that area. There have been many plans and there is a desire to get started. Joint committees on financial issues are resuming work, also for the recovery of historical and more recent debts. 

There is a desire to take action, a desire for the future and a desire to restart, and to do so quickly.

[Courtesy translation]