Libyan official, Italian Ambassador discuss bilateral ties
Libya, Italy reiterate friendly ties with prisoner exchange deal
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for International Cooperation, Omar Keti, discussed with the Italian Ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Grimaldi, the initiation of joint agreements, which include the prisoner exchange agreement program.
During their meeting in Tripoli, they also reviewed the implementation of the terms as agreed, of the Libyan-Italian friendship treaty.
Both sides also discussed methods to strengthen the existing relations between both countries to serve the interests of the two sides, in addition to resuming the work of the Joint Economic Committee to support bilateral cooperation in the economic, commercial, technical, and educational fields.
Italy and Libya agreed on 7 July to reactivate a 2008 friendship treaty, which allowed migrants to be returned to Libyan territory.
But the deal was suspended in February 2011, after the start of the uprising that saw Gaddafi forced from power and killed.
The original treaty envisaged unlocking US$5 billion (S$6.8 billion) of Italian investment in Libya as compensation for colonisation by Rome.
In exchange, Libya would work to stop illegal migrants embarking from its shores – and receive those sent back to the north African country, a clause lambasted by human rights activists.
The two ministers did not say if the text of the reactivated treaty had been amended.
The agreement means “all the conditions are in place to work hand in hand to support stabilisation… (of) Libya’s security and unity”, Milanesi said.
Libya “shares with the European Union the responsibility and the duty to deal with migrants”, he added.
“Co-operation between Libya, Italy and the EU is essential to resolve the immigration question and avoid human tragedies”, said Milanesi.
During Gaddafi’s rule, thousands of migrants crossed Libya’s nearly 5,000km of land borders in attempts to reach the Mediterranean and cross to Europe.
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