By Libya Herald staff.
10 January 2015:
An Italian business delegation which arrived in Tripoli today has been given the full red carpet . . .[restrict]treatment by the Mayor of Tripoli and Hassi regime officials in the mistaken belief that one of them was the Mayor of Rome and the others were members of the Italian parliament.
The pro-Hassi Libya Observer reported earlier today that that an Italian delegation “including members from the parliament and Mayor of Rome” had arrived in arrived in Tripoli today “to discuss prospects of cooperation”.
The Mayor of Tripoli, Al-Mehdi Al-Harati, was among those welcoming them.
However, the eight-strong delegation, led by consultant and former Norther League MP Irene Pivetti, consists of “entrepreneurs who were invited by Libya entrepreneurs”, an Italian official said. The claims by the Hassi media about them being MPs with the Mayor of Rome (Ignazio Marino) among them were “completely fake”, the Libya Herald was told.
“It is not an official delegation. They are private citizens. They are not Italian MPs or politicians and the Mayor of Rome is still in Rome.”
The official added that it was thought that the group would be in Tripoli for three days but it would certainly not have any contacts with Libyan institutions.
It is not known who was responsible for the embarrassing mistake. However, the Omar Al-Hassi “government” in Tripoli has been claiming in recent weeks that Europe and other countries are about to recognise its legitimacy. Three days ago, the British Ambasssador Michael Aron had to refute claims by Hassi that a British military delegation had recently been in Tripoli.
Today’s willingness to believe that a simple business group was a major political delegation is seen as indicating both how isolated Hassi regime members have become and their growing desperation for recognition.