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Italian envoy, Libyan PM discuss migrants, military escalation

31 luglio 2019 | 15.00
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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Giuseppe Buccino

Migration and the almost-four-month-old battle for control of Tripoli were the focus of talks between Italy's ambassador Giuseppe Buccino and Libya's internationally recognised premier Fayez al-Sarraj, the country's Presidential Council said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Buccino and Sarraj's talks centred on "important topics" that included migrants and "military and security developments," the statement said.

"Cooperation between Italy and Libya" was also high on the meeting agenda, according to the statement.

During the talks, Sarraj underlined to Buccino the government's determination to keep defending Tripoli from the ground and aerial assault launched on it in early April by eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar's forces, said the statement.

Buccino and Sarraj also analysed "the consequences" of the deadly bombing of the Tajoura migrant shelter east of Tripoli earlier this month (allegedly by Haftar's warplanes), the statement went on.

Sarraj told Buccino that illegal immigration must be resolved "in a radical way that takes account of its humanitarian, economic and security dimensions - with the international community's active contribution," the statement added.

In an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera on Tuesday, Buccino said Libya faced "an uphill struggle" to achieve peace and stability as it was clear from Haftar's recent talks with UN envoy Ghassan Salame in Benghazi that he was still determined to achieve victory despite the current military stalemate.

Libya is at "an extremely critical juncture" and former colonial power Italy is the only country whose embassy is still open the war-wracked country, Buccino said. "We represent a message of peace," he stated.

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