Italy to start implementing stalled coastal motorway as part of colonial era compensation
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 16 September 2019:
Italy has decided to start implementing the long-stalled Libyan coastal motorway project, the Libyan embassy in Rome, aligned to the Faiez Serraj Tripoli government, reported yesterday.
The agreement to start construction was signed at the Italian Ministry of Communications and Infrastructure in Rome, the embassy reported.
It will be recalled that the coastal motorway project stretching from the Libyan Egyptian to the Libyan Tunisian land borders was part of the Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation, signed in Benghazi in 2008 between former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and Qaddafi as part of a US$ 5 bn compensation package for Italy’s colonial occupation of Libya.
It will also be kept in mind, and as reported by Libya Herald at the time, that a similar announcement was made back in August 2013 – with no implementation taking place due to the poor security in Libya. There was a similar announcement in in November 2017.
It is, therefore, totally unclear why the Italians have agreed to commence the project at this particular time in view of the ongoing fighting between the Khalifa Hafter forces and forces defending Tripoli.