The Head of the Libyan Presidential Council Mohamed al-Menfi paid a visit to Italy before the Second Berlin Conference, where he held talks with Prime Minister Mario Draghi. In the meetings where cooperation opportunities between the two countries were dealt with, the fight against illegal immigration, border security issues and the December 24 elections were discussed.
At the meetings, support for the national reconciliation process was emphasized. Prime Minister Draghi expressed Italy’s support for the political process and stated that he welcomed the efforts of the Presidential Council since February. Head of the Presidential Council al-Menfi emphasized that the two countries should be in a strategic partnership in different fields.
In addition, during the week, news appeared in the local media of Libya that the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited the Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush to Italy to meet with tribal leaders from southern Libya. The meeting, which was planned to be held under the name of “National Reconciliation Forum,” was criticized by high-level Libyan officials.
Officials considered the invitation as an intervention in Libya’s internal affairs. Following these developments, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that they did not organize any conciliation forum and that the news did not reflect the truth.
Italy, one of the participating countries of the 2nd Berlin Conference, got involved in the Libyan crisis for both economic and security reasons and continued the negotiations between the parties. Prime Minister Draghi made his first overseas visit to Libya after taking office, where he had bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh as well as al-Menfi.