Italy worried about Libya, Di Maio tells Lavrov

Med must be a strategic priority for EU says Italian FM

06 December, 17:49

    Russian FM Sergej Lavrov in Rome Russian FM Sergej Lavrov in Rome

    ROME - Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio expressed concern about the situation in Libya during talks in Rome with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

    "I presented our concerns about the intensification of the civil war in Libya," Di Maio told a joint press conference with Lavrov.

    "A military solution does not exist", said Di Maio.

    Previously, opening the Med Dialogues conference in Rome, Di Maio outlined Italy's position regarding Libya, which "is based on three guiding lines: urge all parties involved to avoid further escalation and achieve a ceasefire; restart political dialogue, continuing to support UN efforts; and foster cohesion of the international community and the reaching of a lasting political solution, in the interests of the Libyan population.'' In line with this approach, he added, ''we hold that it is crucial that the various international players involved in the conflict stop their external interference and violations of the UN embargo.'' The foreign minister noted that ''Libya represents an emblematic case due to the plurality of national interests at play and to the integrated approach of our actions. Italy's national interest in Libya is anchored to the principles of unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the country.

    This objective can be achieved only by promoting dialogue among the various Libya political players and all the international ones that are the most involved.'' Di Maio said that on Friday evening he would be chairing a ministerial-level meeting of countries neighbouring on Libya, ''which involves our partners most directly affected by the crisis'', he said. ''This is a way,'' he added, ''even if indirectly, to bring their voice to the international conference planned in Berlin and wanted by UN Special Envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame, on which the Italian foreign ministry is actively working.''

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