Conte following kidnapped fishermen case daily

Conte following kidnapped fishermen case daily

Premier Giuseppe Conte is closely following the case of 18 Sicilian fishermen detained in eastern Libya for over two weeks for allegedly entering its coastal waters, Conte said on Wednesday.

I am following the case on a daily basis with all the determination that it requires," Conte wrote in a letter to Sicily's governor Nello Musumeci.

"I want to reassure you that the entire government is committed to attaining a rapid, positive solution," the letter states.

Conte wrote that he "fully shares the attention and the worry" over the fishermen's fate conveyed to him by Musumeci on behalf all Sicilians.

The crew of the Antartide and Medinea were detained 35 miles north of Benghazi on 1 September by and taken to the port city.

In a recent letter, Musumeci urged "authoritative intervention" from Conte with Libyan authorities "to achieve a swift and painless solution to this said episode that is causing dismay and unease on my island".

To release the fishermen and their vessels, eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar is understood to have demanded Italy free four Libyan footballers who it arrested in 2015 and jailed for 20-30 years on human trafficking charges. The footballers' families claim they are innocent.