Italy’s Prime Minister says Libya’s rush into elections isn’t viable
The Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, said on Wednesday that it is not vital for Libya to vote this year, signaling doubts about a French-led push to hold elections on December 15 this year to stabilise and unify the country.
Conte told journalists in Rome on Wednesday that the Italy conference will most likely be held in November.
“Italy’s primary interest is to stabilise Libya and to hold the presidential and political elections with appropriate guarantees. We are in no hurry to have the vote tomorrow, or in November or in December,” Conte told journalists in Rome, Reuters reported.
Asked whether he had received any feedback from Macron over his agreement with the U.S. president, Conte answered that his “agreement with Trump is not to the detriment of any specific European country”. According to Reuters.
Italy and France are competing for influence in war-torn Libya, an oil and gas rich country which has been staging area for people smugglers who have sent hundreds of thousands of people on rickety boats toward Europe in recent years.
“Trump has recognised a matter of fact: Libya has a strategic relevance for Italy due to historic and geopolitical reasons. The flow of migrants coming from the Libyan coast targeted mainly Italy,” Conte said as reported by Reuters.