First Published: 2012-11-06

 

Italy's top diplomat in Libya for high-level talks with first elected authorities

 

Talks touch on business opportunities for Italian companies, notably in construction, energy sectors, boosting cultural exchanges.

 

Middle East Online

Will Libya’s new regime benefit Italy?

TRIPOLI - Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi visited Libya on Tuesday for high-level talks with the first elected authorities since the ouster of veteran strongman Moamer Gathafi.

Terzi met with national assembly head Mohammed Megaryef and acting Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.

"We intend to develop with the new Libya, through this government, an even closer relationship, particularly on the political, security and economic front," Terzi told journalists in Tripoli.

The talks touched on business opportunities for Italian companies, notably in the construction and energy sectors, boosting cultural exchanges between the two nations, and increasing visas for Libyans wishing to go to Italy, he said.

Zeidan expressed his country's commitment to maintaining tight ties with Italy and vowed that Libya will no longer be a "jihadist state that exports deviant ideologies".

In September, Rome expelled two Libyans accused of spreading jihadist ideas.Zeidan said his cabinet would be sworn in next week, rather than on Thursday as had been previously announced by Megaryef, and take office shortly after that.

Terzi's visit comes a day after a criminal court in Rome ordered the release of more than one billion euros in Libyan assets frozen since March.

The court ruled that Libyan Investment Authority shares in aerospace giant Finmeccanica and UniCredit bank be unfrozen, LIA chairman Mohsen Derregia was quoted as saying by Italian news agencies.

The LIA, a government-managed sovereign wealth fund and holding company based in Tripoli, was a key financial pillar of Gathafi's regime.

It was created in 2006 to invest oil-rich Libya's vast foreign currency reserves and diversify income sources away from natural resources.

The Italian assets were frozen at the request of the International Criminal Court as part of an investigation into crimes against humanity by the late strongman and his inner circle.

Under Gathafi, Libya briefly held the biggest single stake in UniCredit.

Libya is a former Italian colony and Italy is the one of the top foreign investors in the country as well as being one of its top trade partners. Italy also played a crucial role in the conflict to oust Gathafi last year, acting as a base for NATO air raids.

Gathafi was overthrown by NATO-backed rebels in August 2011. He went into hiding but was found and killed two months later by an angry mob.

 

Frustration grows over Huthi occupation of Yemen capital

Kurd troops launch offensive on IS on three fronts

Indian PM warns US to repeat Iraq 'mistake' in Afghanistan

Erakat likens Netanyahu to leader of ‘Islamic State’

Syrian refugees try their luck in Latin America

Israel settlers forcefully occupy 25 homes in East Jerusalem

Gunmen wound Saudi policeman in Shiite village in Eastern Province

Voters to choose among 27 candidates in Tunisia presidential race

Iran offers military equipment to Lebanon army

Iran extends compulsory military service to 2 years

US-led air strikes pound ‘Islamic State’ near Syria border town

Britain plans action against extremism ‘in all its forms’

Vigilante groups terrorise Syria refugees in Lebanon

Balkans clamp down on jihadist recruitment

Israel PM warns Iran poses gravest threat to world

Kuwait strips 18 nationals of citizenship

Ahead of Tunisia elections, Ghannouchi appeals for US support

Israel deploys extra forces as two faiths mark major holy days

Egypt, Libya plunge in good governance rating

Saudi Arabia breaks silence on Huthi occupation of Yemen capital

Air strikes fail to halt advance of IS jihadists in Syria

Rival Libya factions meet for reconciliation talks

Iran-P5+1 nuclear talks ‘to resume’ by mid-October

HRW criticises human rights rollback under Erdogan

Syria's Nusra Front chief warns to transfer battle to West

Obama admits to making serious mistake: We underestimated ‘Islamic State’

Germany begins training Kurdish fighters from northern Iraq

Jordan takes ‘precautionary measures’ to secure borders

Egypt acquits 112 on charges of violating protest law

Shiite dissident dies in gun battle with Saudi security forces

Iraq forces repel IS attack on strategic town west of Baghdad

Russia raises suspicions about US ‘military interference’ in Syria

Yemen capital reels under control of Huthi rebels

Dubai Ruler: Victory over ‘Islamic State’ requires three bigger ingredients

Nusra Front threatens retaliation against coalition nations

Nusra Front urges Lebanon to negotiate for captive soldiers

Iran warns ‘Islamic State’: If you advance, we will attack!

Huthis settle score with Yemen national security apparatus

Egypt postpones verdict in murder case against Mubarak

US-led coalition expands campaign against ‘Islamic State’ in Syria

Yemen Shiite rebels urged to pull out of capital

Time for Iraq's Christians to put up fight against jihadists

Arrests prompt clashes in Arab east Jerusalem

Britain nabs more Islamist suspects

How much is cost of US air war on IS?