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.

 

Russian, Turkish FMs meet for first time since ties repaired

Four ministers sacked from Libya's unity government

At least 70 killed in north of Syria's Aleppo

Iranians mark annual Quds Day

Egypt becoming departure country for migrants to Europe

Turkish ship carrying Gaza aid leaves for Israel

Diplomatic quartet says Israel must cease settlement expansion

Monitor says Syrian regime pilot captured by rebels

Palestinian dies from tear gas fired by Israeli forces

Palestinian tries to stab Israeli in West Bank, shot dead

Ankara suicide attack mastermind killed

Istanbul airport attackers ‘planned hostage-taking’

Oil prices rise in Asia

US Navy probe finds leadership failings in Iran capture

Quartet report says Israel must urgently halt illegal settlement expansion

At least 70 killed in northern Aleppo clashes

Sisi praises Egyptian 'revolution' against Morsi

US-backed Syria rebels look to cut off ISIS from Iraq border

Egyptian Coptic priest shot dead in El-Arish

Iran sacks heads of four state banks over high pay

EU agrees to opens new chapter with Turkey on accession talks

Detained RSF Turkey representative released

Lebanese army says ISIS attacks foiled, 5 arrested

UN extends Darfur mission despite Sudan opposition

Air strikes kill 150 militants fleeing Fallujah

Turkey detains 13 over airport attack

Palestinian killed by Israeli troops after deadly attack

UN envoy seeks Syria peace talks’ resumption in July

Tunisian killed in Istanbul attack seeking to repatriate IS-linked son

Turkish forces kill 2 suspected IS jihadists at Syria border

Egypt president urges religious reforms to counter extremists

First aid convoy since 2012 enters two besieged Syria towns

Race to succeed Cameron begins after stunning Brexit vote

Yemen peace talks to take two-week break

Iraq secures $2.7 billion US military loan

ISIS pushes back Syria rebel offensive on Iraq route

Israel cabinet approves Turkey reconciliation deal

Turkey airport attack slams limping tourism industry

Putin lifts Turkey travel restrictions, orders trade 'normalised'

Fears for stranded Syrian refugees as Jordan blocks access

Bahrain activist back in jail despite worsening health

41 killed in Istanbul airport bomb, gun attacks

Witnesses recount Istanbul attack

Car bomb kills 10 in Kurdish-held Syria town

Ban to Israeli PM: Gaza blockade ‘collective punishment’