Italy, Greece PMs join influx of visitors to Libya in transition
The prime ministers of Italy and Greece on April 6 joined a growing number of foreign leaders visiting Libya as it seeks to emerge from a decade of post-revolution chaos under a U.N.-sponsored peace process.
Italy's Mario Draghi, whose country was the former colonial power in the North African state, held talks in the capital Tripoli, making his first trip abroad since taking office in mid-February.
"This is a unique moment for Libya," with a new unity government in place, Draghi told a news conference, standing alongside interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.
Libya's latest government hopes to bring together rival forces, especially the two main camps in the east and west, that have each been supported by foreign powers.
Parliament last month confirmed Dbeibah to lead Libya to December 24 elections.
"The prerequisite for being able to move forward with courage is that the ceasefire continues and is strictly observed," Draghi said, referring to an October deal that helped pave the way for the transitional government.
Draghi said it was time "to rebuild what is an old friendship."
He said Italy's embassy flew the flag as the "only" Western diplomatic mission to stay open through "all the long years of conflict" that followed Libya's 2011 revolution which toppled dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
Italy is a major commercial partner for oil-rich Libya, where its energy giant Eni is a key player.
Draghi also expressed "satisfaction" with Libya's missions to intercept and rescue migrants trying to reach Italy, some 300 kilometers (190 miles) north across the Mediterranean.
Libya is a major route for migrants trying to reach Europe, and traffickers thrived in the lawlessness that followed Kadhafi's...