Italy tussle for North Africa influence with competing visits

Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah receives his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni, in the capital Tripoli, on January 28, 2023. (AFP)

Italy’s prime minister arrived in Tripoli on Saturday for talks with Libya’s PM Abdel Hamid Dbeibah that will focus on energy and migration, top issues for Italy and the European Union.

She is seeking to secure new supplies of natural gas to replace Russian energy amid Moscow’s war on Ukraine. She previously visited Algeria, Italy’s main supplier of natural gas, where she signed several memorandums.

Meloni landed in Tripoli, amid tight security and accompanied by Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani and Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, her office said.

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