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Italian PM Draghi’s Libya visit in early April in gesture of support to unity govt

Published: Updated:

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Wednesday he hopes to visit Libya in early April in a show of support for the new UN-backed unity government.

It would be the first such trip by a European leader since interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah was sworn in on March 15 and Draghi’s first abroad since taking office in Rome last month.

Draghi told the Senate Italy’s policy was “to support the government of national unity in Libya, with the aim of reaching elections in early December.”

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“In the meantime it is necessary that the ceasefire is respected and it seems there are encouraging developments on this front, in the sense that various mercenary and non-mercenary components are starting to leave the country,” he said.

“I myself will make a visit to Libya, I think on April 6 or 7, in any case in the first week of April.”

His announcement follows a visit Sunday to Tripoli by Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.

Libya’s new transitional executive emerged from a complex UN-sponsored process launched in November in Tunis. Its members were selected in Geneva then confirmed by Libya’s parliament on March 10.

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