Italy's envoy to Libya in 'friendly' talks with state oil firm NOC chief

Italy's envoy to Libya in 'friendly' talks with state oil firm NOC chief

Photo: Italian foreign ministry/Twitter

Italy's ambassador to Libya, Giuseppe Buccino had a "friendly" meeting with the chairman of the country's state-run National Oil Corporation, Mustafa Sanalla, the Italian embassy in Tripoli tweeted.

During the meeting, Buccino and Sanalla examined "energy sector cooperation in the context of the current security situation in Libya," said the tweet.

NOC, which handles oil and gas exports for the whole of Libya, is based in Tripoli.

Italy, which has extensive oil interests in Libya - its former colony - has sought to play a leading role in efforts towards a ceasefire in Tripoli, where deadly fighting broke out between rival militias in early April.

The warfare began when eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar's militia began an assault on Tripoli on 5 April and met with resistance from militias loyal to the beleaguered UN-backed government. Haftar accuses the administration of being controlled by terrorists, a charge it denies.

At least 454 people have been killed, at least 2,154 injured and 60,000 have fled their homes since the fighting, air strikes and shelling began, the UN said last week.

Libya has been in chaos since the Nato-backed ouster of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, with rival administrations in the east and in Tripoli backed by myriad of militias who are vying for control of the oil-rich country.