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.

 

Yemen blockade 'killing' as many civilians as war

Palestinian baby killed in arson attack by Jewish settlers

EU urges Israel to show 'zero tolerance for settler violence'

Erdogan calls for early elections if no coalition

Cash-strapped Tunisia's Syphax airline grounds flights

Kurds in Diyarbakir fear return to war

State of emergency in Tunisia extended

Jerusalem Gay Pride attack suspect lashes out in court

'Kurdish Obama' faces his biggest test

Pentagon denies US-trained rebels captured in Syria

Morocco king calls for development of remote regions

Host of US celebrities endorses Iran nuclear deal

PKK braces for fight with Turkey in Iraq mountain bastions

Kurdish party chief dismisses Turkey anti-IS raids

Thomas Cook warns Tunisia attacks affect annual results

Three Al-Jazeera journalists await Egypt retrial verdict

Kuwait uncovers new IS cell

One Turkish police killed in attack blamed on PKK

Israel approves law allowing force feeding of prisoners

New sexist gaffe of Turkish deputy PM: 'As a woman, be quiet!

UN envoy invites Syrians to ‘thematic’ talks

Egypt's gift to the world: Suez Canal Axis

Pentagon to worried lawmakers: We will remain vigilant on Iran

Hamas calls for revolt against Palestinian Authority

ISIS claims deadly car bomb in Yemen capital

Allies tolerate Turkey's double game to boost IS fight

Somalia ‘making progress’ despite insecurity and election delay

Germany, Iraqi Kurds say Turkey should resume peace process

Syria skeptical about Turkey's intentions in fight against ISIS

Somalia indentifies hotel bomber as former German resident

US gets formal approval to use Incirlik air base in Turkey

Saudi policeman killed, 2 injured in attack

Israel PM approves 300 settler homes in occupied West Bank

Jordan jails 8 for "plotting a terrorist act"

Israel committed war crimes on 'Black Friday'

Israeli strike on Syrian town kills 5 pro-regime fighters

Yemen orders militia to merge with army

Erdogan heads for China for talks

France seeks to revive ties with Iran

Syria army, Kurds oust IS from Hasakeh city

Yemen truce has failed to take hold

Iran urged to free Washington Post journalist

UN aid chief calls for greater Syria access

Rebels gain ground near Syrian regime heartland

Cairo furniture factory fire kills 25