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Italy Warns Macron: Libya Does Not Belong To You And We Will Not Leave It

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

ROME – Italy has warned the French authorities of further interference in Libyan internal affairs and trying to guide the political process according to their interests, in a move revealed the truth of the conflict between Paris and Rome. The core of the conflict between the two EU neighbors is on the management of the Libyan crisis and the extent of disagreement over the approaches to the solution.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a televised statement on Thursday that he strongly opposed the political agenda set by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Paris conference, which brought together the parties to the Libyan conflict and whose results were endorsed by the United Nations.

Paris had brought together the parties to the crisis in Libya last May at a conference in which elections were agreed to be held in Libya on December 10, and the constitutional foundations for the elections and the adoption of necessary laws by 16 September 2018.

Rome has expressed its rejection of this step. “I told French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit in Canada last June that our goal is not to organize elections in Libya,” Conte said.

Conte attacked the policy of the French president in Libya, saying: “Macron would be wrong if he thinks that Libya belongs to him, it is not for him nor for us, but an independent state with a historical relationship with Italy also, and will never leave it.”

He accused Italian Prime Minister Macron of trying to besiege Italian interests in Libya to spread French influence over the oil-rich country despite the excellent relations between them. “The relationship with Macron is excellent and friendly, but the latter seeks to defend French interests, while I have to protect the Italian interests “He added.

In a similar move to the Paris meeting, Conte revealed that Italy will organize an international conference on Libya next fall, which will be attended by the Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and all parties involved in the Libyan crisis, particularly European governments, representatives of the United States, and Africa’s Mediterranean governments.

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