Tripoli, 13 August:
The Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, has sent a message of congratulations and support to Mohammed Magarief, the newly-elected President . . .[restrict]of the General National Congress.
“I’m glad to convey to Your Excellency my warmest congratulations for your election to the presidency of the General National Congress”, said the statement which Napolitano described as “on behalf of the Italian people and from me personally”.
He stressed that the democratic mandate conferred on Magarief was a crucial step towards “a state of law, based upon a new constitution, inspired by human rights and fundamental freedoms”. Napolitano, who has been Italian president since 2006, also asserted Italian support for the GNC president, saying “facing the challenges ahead you will find Italy ready to support you and to cooperate with the Italian people.”
Italy and Libya have a strong ties, in part based on geographical proximity but also because of Italy’s colonial history in Libya.
The Italian president’s message of support will also serve as a reminder for Magarief of international support for Libya in its transition to democratic government. [/restrict]