The transfer of power in Libya this week to an interim unified government allows "cautious optimism" but efforts to stabilise and unify the war-torn nation need to "double", according to Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio.
"The encouraging developments of recent weeks give ground for cautious optimism but must also spur us to double our efforts," Di Maio told a joint press conference in Rome on Thursday with European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
Di Maio hailed as "historic" the swearing in before legislators and Libya’s top judges in the eastern town of Tobruk of a government led by businessman Abdelhamid Dbeibah.
The handover to Dbeibah's executive and three-member presidential council chief Mohammad Younes Menfi by Fayez al-Sarraj, head of Libya's outgoing UN-recognised Government of National Accord marks the start of a process meant to end a decade of chaos and to lead to elections on 24 December.
"Italy is a convinced supporter of this process of transition, and the re-unification of Libya's institutions that is underway," Di Maio went on.
"We have complete faith in the UN's work and trust that the transfer of powers currently taking place will continue in a swift and orderly manner."
Italy has been at the forefront of moves to stabilise Libya, its oil-rich former colony. The country plunged into turmoil after the Nato-led ouster of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 with rival administrations forming in 2014 in Tripoli and the east, each backed by a myriad of warring militias.