By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 12 April 2016:
Italian Foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni flew into Tripoli this morning to meet Presidency Council head Faiez . . .[restrict]Serraj at the Bu Sitta naval base. The first foreign statesman to visit the capital since 2014, when the Italian embassy was the last of the major diplomatic missions to close, he travelled the brief distance from Mitiga Airport in a White Mercedes with a heavy escort.
At a press conference afterwards, hosted by PC member Ahmed Maetig, not Serraj himself, Gentiloni said he came wanting to give the prime minister-designate “a message of support on the political, humanitarian and economic fronts”.
He praised the advances that had been made in the less than two weeks since the PC had arrived in Tripoli, but urged that Libya should consolidate. He said that he hoped that the parliament in Tobruk would soon be voting on the new government.
Gentiloni also announced that a C130 Italian air force plane had just brought emergency food and medicine for hospitals in both Tripoli and Benghazi. He said that he was anxious to talk about security, immigration, the health sector, motorway projects and air links between the two countries.
He added that if this seemed to be looking a bit too far into the future, he felt that just as the PC had had the courage to come to the capital, so the international community should have the courage to look to the future. [/restrict]