By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, once awash with diplomatic receptions, saw its first such party in three years when the Italian ambassador Giuseppe Perrone entertained guests at his residence to mark his country’s national day.
Most countries withdrew their envoys to Tunis in 2014 when Libya Dawn militias took over the capital and diplomatic missions were attacked. In February 2015 Italy was the last major country to withdraw its diplomats and it has been the first and so far only Western mission to return full-time.
At Perrone’s reception last night were Presidency Council (PC) deputy Ahmed Maetig and fellow PC member Mohamed Ammari, the chairman of the National Oil Corporation Mustafa Sanalla, State of Council head Abdulrahman Sewehli and the Government of National Accord foreign minister Mohamed Siala who has not been seen in Tripoli since his controversial March reference in Tunis to Khalifa Hafter as head of the army.
Italy’s National Day is actually on 2 June but the embassy said the Tripoli celebration had brought it forward so it did not clash with Ramadan.