Rome: Peace in Libya is a “question of national security” for Italy

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Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj (R) meets his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte in Tripoli, Libya, on Dec. 23, 2018. According to a statement issued by the Libyan PM's information office, Serraj briefed Conte on the current political situation in Libya and the government's economic and security reforms. (Xinhua)

 

Libya’s UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj (R) meets his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte in Tripoli, Libya, on Dec. 23, 2018. (Photo source: Xinhua)

Peace in Libya is “a question of national security” for Italy, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio wrote on Facebook on Sunday, after news emerged that the two warring parties in the North African country have announced a cease-fire.

The eastern-based army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, on Saturday announced the cease-fire and the end of all military operations against the UN-backed government in western Libya.

The announcement of a truce in the conflict in Libya “is good news, because it creates space for further dialogue,” Di Maio wrote on Sunday.

“Involving all the actors in this war, bringing them together around a table, is more important than ever in order to reach stability in the country (Libya) and in the region,” the Italian foreign minister continued.

“We must continue to support the dialogue with Moscow and Ankara, so that the common objective of peace is a shared and finally reachable one,” Di Maio added. “Libya for us is a question of national security and of stability for the entire Mediterranean.”

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also hailed news of the cease-fire.

“Haftar’s forces have accepted the cease-fire: it is the first step in pursuing a political solution,” the Italian premier wrote on Twitter in the early hours of Sunday. “There is still a long way to go, but this is the right direction.”

Libya has been torn by a raging civil war. Thousands have been killed and injured in the fighting, and more than 120,000 people fled their homes from the violence, local media reported.

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