By Vanessa Tomassini.
Milan, 6 October 2017:
State Council head Abdulrahman Sewehli has been in Rome today for meetings with Italian officials.
In the morning he saw Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano, whom he last saw just over a week ago in Tripoli.
As a press conference afterwards, Alfano said that Italy was convinced of the importance of the political dialogue taking place in Tunisia where the dialogue committees of the House of Representatives and the State Council are negotiating amendments to the Libyan Political Agreement.
“We think it’s the only way to stabilise Libya,” he said, adding that “the Libyans have to decide the fate of Libya”.
He also stressed that Italy was “very supportive of the work of the UN representative [Ghassan] Salamé” (the UN special envoy). There have been allegations that Italy has been undermining Salamé’s efforts by pursuing its Linya policy.
Alfano also expressed the hope that the dialogue and UN’s work would result in free elections. These, he suggested, would give a Libya a government that was legitimate both in Libyan an international eyes.
Sewehli and Alfano also discussed concerns about human rights abuses in migrant detention centres in Libya, with the Italian minster suggesting that Italian NGOs could help. He added that €6 million had been allocated as humanitarian assistance by his government to the UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration for work with the migrants.
Following his meeting with Alfano, Sewehli then had talks with the president of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini. The two previously met in March during Sewehli’s last official trip to Italy.
Today’s visit follows fast on the heels of those of deputy presidency Council leader of Tripoli, Ahmed Maetig, who arrived in Rome last Monday and after that of Khalifa Hafter who was there 10 days ago.