UN backs Italian naval mission in Libya

Gentiloni calls for United Nations to give 'decisive push'

08 August, 18:26

    (By Paul Virgo).

    ROME - Ghassan Salame', the United Nations special envoy for Libya, on Tuesday praised the Italian naval mission to support the Libyan coast guard's efforts against human traffickers. "I know there were rows in Libya, but I think that cooperation and transparency between Italy and Libya is the most constructive way (to get results)," Salame' told a press conference with Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano after a meeting in Rome. "We are in the right road in this sector to address a challenge that involves everyone". General Khalifa Haftar, whose Libyan National Army (LNA) is linked to a Tobruk-based government in the east of the country, has vowed to repel Italian vessels.
    There has also been dissent about the agreement to authorize the mission with the UN-recognized administration Premier Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli.
    Alfano, meanwhile, said a single negotiation process on Libya led by the United Nations was necessary as too many talks so far had led to zero final results.
    "Negotiation formats in Libya must be reduced to one, the UN needs to take the leadership", Alfano said during a joint press conference with the UN special envoy for the country, Ghassan Salame', at the foreign ministry in Rome.
    "Up until today there have been too many negotiations, too many negotiators and zero final results.
    "Political instability in Libya is not a second-tier match, it is an absolute priority", stressed the minister.
    Premier Paolo Gentiloni called on the United Nations to up its efforts to support stability in Libya during his meeting with Salamè, sources said Tuesday. "Italy has been working for Libya's stabilization for some time," Gentiloni said during the meeting at the premier's office in Rome, according to the sources. "I hope that the United Nations will give this process a decisive push". Gentiloni also stressed that strengthening Libya will help solve the Mediterranean migrant crisis.
    "Stronger Libyan authorities will make the common effort against traffickers in human beings more effective," he said, according to the sources. 

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