By Hadi Fornaji.
Tunis, 10 June 2017:
The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has appointed a new Vatican Apostolic Nuncio (the Vatican’s term for ambassador) to Libya. He is Archbishop Alessandro D’Errico, who since April has also served as nuncio to Malta.
Born in Naples in 1950, he has previous served as Vatican ambassador in Bosnia, Montenegro and Croatia.
There has been no Vatican ambassador to Libya since Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, who also served in Malta, was transferred to The Hague two years ago.
For the past 22 years, Vatican ambassadors to Malta have also served as ambassadors to Libya. It is not yet known when D’Errico will visit Libya.
There remains questions over the position of Libya’a ambassador to the Vatican. A month ago, the foreign ministry in Tripoli announced that 13 ambassadors were to be “retired”, including Mustafa Rujbani who has served at the Vatican since 2013.
Earlier this week, however, after the Libyan news agency LANA announced that Mohamed Al-Dadi, a senior finance official at the foreign ministry, had been appointed as his successor, Rujbani challenged this, saying that he had not been informed about this and that Dadi had come to Rome merely to talk about the embassy’s finances. He added that there would be no handover until there was a settlement in Libya.